A court case against a suspected drink driver collapsed after the Crown Prosecution Service failed to tell a court that a police officer due to give evidence was on annual leave.

Magistrates dismissed the case against Jonathan Greenaway - who was stopped by police in his Jeep in Norwich last year - because the key officer was off.

Greenaway, from Whitley Bay, near Newcastle, was pulled over by police last September, while visiting his partner's family in Norfolk.

Officers breathalysed the ex-paratrooper, who gave a reading of 63 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

However, he pleaded not guilty at Norfolk Magistrates' Court last October. The court heard he admitted swerving his vehicle to avoid a collision.

But Greenaway, who is more than 6ft 3in tall, disputed the accuracy of the breathalyser test and the procedure followed by the officers.

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Eastern Daily Press: Norwich Magistrates Court Norwich Magistrates Court (Image: Bruno Brown)

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He returned to Norwich Magistrates' Court last week for a trial but it collapsed before it started because the police officer involved did not turn up to give evidence.

The court was told that officials had been notified three days before the trial was about to start that the officer was on annual leave.

Magistrates said the case "should be dismissed as the prosecuting officer is not here and no representative is offering any evidence".

Greenaway and his partner had made a five-and-a-half-hour drive down from the northeast that morning to attend the trial.

They were told they could apply to be refunded for the cost of their journey.

A Norfolk police spokeswoman said the force had notified the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) about the officer's absence in good time but that the information had not been passed on.

"The constabulary notified the CPS about the officer's unavailability on November 14, 2023," she added.

"Cases will normally be rescheduled however this information wasn’t given to the courts until April 20.

"It is regrettable this case was discontinued, but this was through no fault of the constabulary.”