A POLICEMAN who recruited three friends to cover up a road accident has been jailed for nine months and has lost his job.
Father-of-three Dean Taylor-Pogue, 36, of Green Way, Saughall, was depressed and suffering from stress at the time of the 'minor' collision.
But instead of confessing to his bosses, he colluded with Nathan Crimes, Jamie Sutton, both 20, and Nicholas Meyer, 36, to invent a story.
City police did not believe them and the truth emerged, Chester Crown Court heard. All four admitted conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Taylor-Pogue also admitted failing to report a road accident within 24 hours.
Sutton, of Lodge Lane, Saughall, was jailed for two months. Meyer and Crimes, both of Green Way, each got three months.
On February 9 Taylor-Pogue, a Cheshire police officer for nine years, went to the Greyhound pub in Saughall with friends after work. He later drove friend Mark Walsh home.
Prosecutor Duncan Bould said: 'In Lodge Lane the vehicle left the carriageway, mounted the pavement and hit a lamp-post.
'It took them 10 minutes to disentangle it from the post. Witnesses including resident Ann Ashcroft saw and heard this.
'Taylor-Pogue said he'd report the accident in the morning, but went directly to Meyer. Crimes became involved too.
'These three set about providing a false story to prevent Taylor-Pogue being found out.
'It was agreed Crimes would report the crash and say he was the driver, and Meyer would provide Taylor-Pogue with an alibi for that night.'
But they needed a man to pretend to be the passenger, and recruited Sutton.
The crash was reported at 4.27am.
Crimes told officers he had swerved to avoid a black mongrel dog.
Gordon Cole, defending, said Taylor-Pogue skidded on mud or ice. 'This was stupidity in the extreme.
'There had been concerns prior to this incident about his behaviour. He was irrational, illogical, depressed and abusing alcohol.'
John Hedgecoe, defending Crimes, said Taylor-Pogue could not cope with the pressure of being in CID and went back to uniform.
'His wife Lynne had an abortion because they could not afford to have a child, and she was extremely depressed by this,' he added.
Simon Christie, for Sutton, a cleaning contractor, said he wished he had not got involved and was the first to confess.
Peter Moss, for Meyer, said this was of 'Enid Blyton quality'. 'It's like the Secret Seven conspiring,' he added. Meyer is married to a Japanese woman and has two children.