Judge’s frustration as he can only fine convicted rapist who dressed as police officer

Peterborough Magistrates'  Court ENGEMN00120130116184112
Peterborough Magistrates' Court ENGEMN00120130116184112

A judge expressed his frustration after being told he could only fine a convicted rapist who dressed up as a police officer.

Jake Cawood (22) wore police style boots, hi-viz vest, and chief inspector epaulettes - along with equipping himself with police style radio and baton when he attended the Christmas Lights switch on and Christmas market in March.

Cawood - who the court was told was convicted of rape as a youth - appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Friday, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of wearing police uniform with intent to deceive.

However, District Judge Ken Sheraton said the law only permitted him to fine Cawood - despite his concerns about Cawood’s actions.

Judge Sheraton described the behaviour as ‘odd and worrying’ and aid: “My sentencing powers are limited - I can’t do much other than fine him. He has a history of serious sexual offences and if he is dressed as a police officer people may trust him.

“I can think of no just reason why you would dress up.

“People my believe they can trust you when looking at your record you may not be that person.

“My concern is potentially far more serious offences could have happened - fortunately I am told they did not.

Barry Hargreaves, prosecuting, said Cawood was seen in the ‘uniform’ on November 24 and December 3 last year by police officers.

Defending, Julian Hopley said: “He aways wanted to be a police officer.”

But Judge Sheraton said: “I’ve always wanted to be an airline pilot but I don’t dress up as one.”

Cawood, of Monarch Road, Eaton Socon, was fined a total of £400, and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £30.

Judge Sheraton added: “The financial penalties I can impose are not as heavy as I would like to.”

The ‘uniform’ was ordered to be destroyed.