Man acted as police officer after buying uniform online

A police officer. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A judge said members of the public thought Craig Buttery was a police officer

A man impersonated a police officer by carrying out drug searches and wearing the uniform to the pub after buying equipment online, a court heard.

Craig Buttery, 21, attacked a man while dressed in the outfit, Chelmsford Magistrates' Court heard.

He pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer and assault.

Buttery, of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, was given a 12-month community order, fined £126 and ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work.

He also admitted driving otherwise than in accordance with his licence and was given six points on his licence.

The court heard he told his friend he was insured to drive her car "because policemen are insured on any vehicle".

Prosecutor Ashley Petchey said Buttery had bought kit including handcuffs, a fluorescent jacket, belt and radio with earpiece online.

He said as well as being seen in a local pub the defendant had also pulled over and questioned two people claiming to have smelt cannabis before carrying out a search and confiscating a small amount of the drug.

'Theatrical act'

Buttery, of The Coppice, also pinned a man to a wall in Takeley, Essex, while dressed as a police officer on 16 January claiming that he had threatened to smash his friend's car with a baseball bat.

Judge Timothy King said he did not believe Buttery had bought the uniform for "theatrical purposes" and his victim had believed him to be a genuine police officer.

He said: "It is a lot of effort to go to for a theatrical act. It is quite clear that those members of the public thought you were a police officer.

"The public has to have confidence that those who are dressed as police officers are police officers."

Defending, Zoe Hoskin said Buttery was young and was very apologetic for what he had done.

She said: "He recognises it wasn't the best thinking process."

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