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"Arrogant" army captain banned from driving

Captain refused to provide breath test at Newbury police station after being stopped for 'shocking' driving on M4

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632


AN “arrogant and unreasonable” army captain who refused to provide a breath test at Newbury police station has been banned from driving.

Capt Joseph Walker-Cousins, who was stabilisation adviser to the UK’s special envoy in Benghazi from 2011 to 2012 and head of the British Embassy Office in Benghazi from 2012-2014, was stopped after driving across two lanes of the M4 on March 25, Newbury magistrates heard.

Felicity Lineham, prosecuting on Thursday, May 21, said that the 36-year-old was pulled over after another motorist, shocked by the standard of his driving, called the police.

She said police officers had to “pull right up beside him with their lights on”, as Capt Walker-Cousins appeared not to notice them.

She added: “Upon his exiting the car officers noted that his eyes were glazed and he smelled strongly of liquor.”

When he arrived at Newbury police station, the court heard, he became “unreasonable and obnoxious”, refusing to get out of the police car or provide a sample of breath and demanding to speak to his wife and to his lawyer.

Capt Walker-Cousins admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Mike Davis, defending, said that Capt Walker-Cousins had been drinking with a friend in London and had intended to take the train home to Bristol, but instead made the “extremely stupid decision” to drive.

He added that Capt Walker-Cousins wrongly thought he was entitled to speak to a lawyer before providing a sample of breath, prompting him to “refuse, point blank, to comply with police”.

Mr Davis added: “He does not recall being difficult when pulled over, but has admitted he is ashamed by his arrogant behaviour at Newbury police station.

“After speaking to a lawyer some time later, he agreed to give a sample of breath, but was told by police that it was too late.”

Giving a character reference to the court, Major Alex John Finnen MBE, Intelligence Corps Army Reserve stationed at Denison Barracks in Hermitage, told the hearing that Capt Walker-Cousins was due to be promoted this year but that “would definitely not be happening” as a result of his actions.

He added: “It could have a serious impact on his career and lead to demotion in rank.

“It will certainly lead to the removal of seniority. He was due to be promoted this year. That now will definitely not happen for a many number of years.”

He added that the court’s decision would reflect the sanction imposed on the captain.

However, after retiring to confer, magistrates disqualified him from driving for 18 months.

He was also fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £120 costs plus a statutory surcharge of £85.

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Article comments

  • Petra

    06/07/2016 - 16:04

    I have been reluctant to comment on this. But I will, I have known Joseph since University so I've been there during a whole loads of changes in his life. Part of it was him witnessing, shoulder to shoulder, his best friend's head being blown up in Iraq while at the front line with the Army and having to carry his dead body after securing the area. that's just one example. Others were how Territorial Army was frowned upon by regular Army when they still risk their lives for the safety of Britain, He still believed in his mission to serve the Queen and the country and went back to the front line.. I am not saying this is an excuse for how it is said above that he acted. But is an outright Rage at whoever thought it was acceptable to post such an unfortunate Hick-up he had at this incident and now you Journalist attempting to destroy his and his family's life just for a column in the paper! If this is the respect and understanding you show our soldiers. Then God be with Britain!... LS


  • All41

    14/11/2015 - 22:10

    All I can say is we should respect this man. He went out of his way to help me when I was going through hell in Libya. What's the point of publishing this story. It could happen to anyone. Why write it in the newspaper. Is this how one should treat our heroes?