Fake police officer used '˜novelty' flashing blue lights to pull Peterborough driver over
A car park attendant who put flashing blue lights in his car windscreen and pulled a driver over in Peterborough has admitted impersonating a police officer - after being caught by a constable on his way to work.
Robert Davidson was driving his Seat car on Bretton Gate in July 2018 when he activated the flashing blue lights and pulled over an Audi driver.
Davidson - who was wearing a fluorescent hi-viz jacket, white shirt, black tie and black trousers - then got out of his car to talk to the driver.
But he was spotted by traffic officer PC Stuart Appleton, who was riding to work at the time.
Today (Thursday) Davidson (43) of Saffron Close, Littleport, Cambridgeshire, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating a police officer. He had denied the charge at an earlier hearing, and his trial had been listed to start today.
Magistrate Martin Sharp described the charge as ‘a serious offence’ and ordered Davidson - who works at Addenbrooke’s hospital as a car park operative and security guard - to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, and pay court costs of £350 and a victim surcharge of £85.
Fred Sagoe, prosecuting, told the court: “PC Appleton was riding his motorcycle to work along Bretton Gate when he saw the Seat motor vehicle in lane one, by an Audi vehicle. The Seat had blue lights flashing in the windscreen.
“PC Appleton became suspicious as he did not recognise the Seat as an unmarked police car, and Seats were not used by the force.
“He drove to the next roundabout, and went to approach the driver of the Seat - by this time the Audi had driven off.”
Mr Sage said PC Appleton challenged Davidson - who said he had used the lights to stop the Audi because of the driving standards.
PC Appleton then seized the lights and a dash-cam fitted to the Seat - although the memory card had been taken out of the camera.
In police interview Davidson said he was driving to his girlfriend’s house in Peterborough, when the driver of the Audi had ‘driven him off the road.’
He initially said he just flashed his headlights, before switching the blue lights on to check if they were working later - but then admitted he had used the blue lights.
The court was told the Davidson said he had purchased the lights - which along with flashing blue lights, also could flash different coloured lights - because he liked rave music. He also said he had bought them as a novelty item.
Nick Simmons, defending, said: “This was clearly a very stupid decision (by Davidson).
“It was obvious the hi-viz jacket was not a police jacket.”
Mr Sharp, sentencing, said: “The bench is not of a mind to consider this is a minor offence - it is a serious matter.
“We have no idea why you decided to do this. You didn’t know who was in the car. It could have been anyone.”
Davidson was given until the end of February to pay the costs and surcharge.
The blue lights were ordered to be destroyed.