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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
'Ooh Betty' mimic in spot of trouble
Actors Michael Crawford and Michelle Dotrice in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
Stack mimicked Frank Spencer's catchphrases
A charity worker has admitted impersonating comedy character Frank Spencer on police airwaves using an officer's radio.

Nathan Stack, 21, interrupted police frequencies in the Worthing area with catchphrases memorised from the BBC TV comedy Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Lewes Crown Court heard.

He pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of theft, after finding the radio at a filling station, and sending false messages under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

The court heard how Stack, an assistant team leader for The Prince's Trust from Littlehampton, tuned in to police frequencies twice an evening for a week to mimic lines by actor Michael Crawford in the cult 1970s show.

'Ooh Betty'

The court heard the catchphrases included "Ooh Betty" and such lines as "Goodbye little fairies I must leave on the double, I would like to stay for one more day but I'm in a spot of trouble".

Stack was caught after his car was stopped by police on suspicion of speeding and he said "Can I help you officer?" in a voice impersonating Frank Spencer.

The traffic officer recognised the voice - and arrested Stack after a search of his car uncovered the radio beneath a seat.

'Bit of fun'

Stack, of York Gardens, told the court he thought it was "fair enough" he had been prosecuted, but he had believed it was just a bit of fun.

He claimed the officers questioning him had tried not to laugh while ordering him off the airwaves and later during interview.

Magistrates adjourned sentence on Stack for four weeks for reports to be prepared.

He was granted bail, but warned that all sentencing options remained open.

Sussex Police have ruled out disciplinary action against the officer who lost the radio after an investigation concluded it was due to "a genuine reason brought about by operational police requirements".

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