Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 09:18 UK

Officer stripogram found guilty

Stuart Kennedy dressed in police uniform
Stuart Kennedy performs his act dressed as a police officer

A male stripper has been convicted of impersonating a police officer and pulling over other drivers using flashing lights.

Stuart Kennedy, known as Sgt Eros, fitted a white strobe light to the dashboard of his car to stop motorists on Aberdeenshire roads last June.

He was dressed as a police officer and had police equipment in his red Peugeot while driving to work.

Sentence on Kennedy was deferred after the Peterhead Sheriff Court trial.

The court was told 26-year-old Kennedy was on his way to carry out a strip act at the Palace Hotel in Peterhead when the first incident, involving 21-year-old delivery driver James Buchan, happened.

A few hours later, he pulled over off-duty firefighter Jamie Lawrie with his strobe light on the A90 Aberdeen to Peterhead road.

Someone in a car giving the impression that the vehicle is a police vehicle could cause a serious accident and loss of life
Ch Insp Gerry Cronin
Grampian Police

Kennedy denied impersonating a police officer and insisted he used the strobe as a safety light so other drivers could see him.

But Sheriff Marysia Lewis found him guilty of the "unusual" offences after a three-day trial.

The stripper, who described himself as an entertainer, said it was company policy to wear a jacket over his police costume and said it would have been impossible for other drivers to see it.

Asked about the Peterhead incident, Kennedy said he stopped behind the car for just 30 seconds but denied Mr Buchan's claims he pretended to speak into a police radio attached to his uniform.

He also admitted using the lights on the A90 when he was pulling out to overtake on the dual carriageway later that night, when he was on his way to a booking at the George and Dragon pub in Fraserburgh.

However, Mr Lawrie, 22, told the court he dialled 999 to report the car because he feared the driver was impersonating a police officer and posed a danger to the public.

'Real dangers'

Mr Lawrie said he had stopped on the road as soon as he could because he thought he was being pulled over by an undercover police officer in the dark.

Kennedy admitted it "probably wasn't the best idea" to use the strobe but claimed he did not know it was illegal.

Peterhead Sheriff Court
The trial at Peterhead Sheriff Court heard of concerns of motorists

Asked if he had deliberately given the impression he was driving a police car, he replied: "No, I had absolutely nothing to gain from that. I just wanted to get to work."

Kennedy was found guilty of fitting his car with a flashing light, two charges of impersonating a police officer on 28 June, and of having a police uniform and equipment in his possession the following day.

Sheriff Lewis deferred sentence until 16 July.

Speaking after the trial, Ch Insp Gerry Cronin, of Grampian Police, said: "This has never been about preventing an entertainer from performing.

"It's about public safety and our duty to protect the public from the very real dangers posed by fake police officers.

"Someone in a car giving the impression that the vehicle is a police vehicle could cause a serious accident and loss of life."

'A vendetta'

However, Kennedy told BBC Scotland: "The only bogus police officers in the Grampian Police area are the ones wearing Grampian Police uniforms.

"It's just a vendetta, I have never done anything wrong."

Kennedy's act has landed him in court several times before.

Judges had previously ruled the police stripogram's truncheon was not an offensive weapon.

He was charged and put on trial after his act drew the attention of Grampian Police in Aberdeen.

Charges of having an offensive weapon in a public place without a reasonable excuse were thrown out by a sheriff.

The Crown appealed, but judges at the Justiciary Appeal Court in Edinburgh backed the sheriff.



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SEE ALSO
Court hears of 'stripper danger'
27 May 09 |  North East/N Isles
Man 'used flashing light' in car
19 May 09 |  North East/N Isles
Stripper's weapon 'not offensive'
25 Apr 08 |  North East/N Isles
Police stripogram student cleared
04 Dec 07 |  North East/N Isles

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