Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 14:02 UK

Fine for wearing 'police' jacket

Stephen Downing outside court
Downing was found guilty and fined 437 and costs

A Derbyshire man who had his conviction for murder overturned after spending 27 years in jail, has been found guilty of wearing police clothing in public.

Stephen Downing, 52, was released from prison in 2001 after a court quashed his conviction for the murder of Wendy Sewell in a cemetery in September 1973.

On Monday, he was found guilty of wearing clothes "likely to deceive the public" at Buxton Magistrates Court.

Downing was arrested in Buxton, while dressed as an officer, in February.

Sewell death

He was charged after being detained in a shop dressed in an ex-police issue jacket, dark trousers and black boots, the court was told.

The jacket had the name of Downing's freelance photographic company, on the back.

He was fined 437 and ordered to pay 625 costs. The court also ordered that the jacket be destroyed.

Downing, of Jefferson House, Milford, Bakewell, Derbyshire, had been mistaken as a police officer while wearing the jacket before, the court heard.

At the time of his arrest, he called the police himself to come to the store to deal with the matter.

The 52-year-old served 27 years in prison before being released on bail in 2001. In 2002 his conviction for bludgeoning typist Wendy Sewell to death with a pickaxe handle was quashed.

At the time of Ms Sewell's death he was 17, but was assessed as having a mental age of 11.

His solicitor Jonathan Taaffe said after the trial his client wanted to get on with the rest of his life in private.


Stephen Downing was arrested after visiting a store in Buxton

Downing quizzed over intimidation
03 Mar 04 |  Derbyshire
Downing angry at 'suspect' claim
27 Feb 03 |  England

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Sheffield Star Police jacket earns a fine for Downing - 3 hrs ago
Wakefield Express Man guilty of wearing police clothing - 17 hrs ago
Horncastle News Man guilty of wearing police clothing - 19 hrs ago
Milton Keynes Citizen Man guilty of wearing police clothing - 22 hrs ago
The Times Man mimicks police after 27 years wrongly in jail - 22 hrs ago

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