Man jailed for posing as police officer to "arrest" a lone woman in the UK 2 weeks ago

Man jailed for posing as police officer to "arrest" a lone woman in the UK

It comes less than a week after the sentencing of Met police officer Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard, who he falsely arrested.

A man has been jailed after impersonating a police officer in an attempt to "arrest" a lone woman in Cumbria, UK.

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The man, who has been named as Gary Shepard, wore a blue lanyard with "police" written on it as he approached the woman in a car park in Barrow around 6.30 PM and told her he was arresting her on drug charges.

The 44-year-old fled after a passer-by responded to the woman's request for help and they both challenged him, according to police.

He has since pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer and common assault. He had initially denied being in the area of Greengate car park, but in his second police interview claimed his actions had been a “joke”, police said.

He has been jailed for 22 weeks, fined £85 and ordered to pay costs of £128.

The incident comes less than a week after a whole-life sentence was handed to Metropolitan police officer Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard. He was revealed to have falsely arrested 33-year-old Sarah for breaking COVID-19 regulations.

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He then went on to kidnap, rape, and murder her before burning her body in an area of woodland near Ashford, Kent. The murder sparked a national conversation about male violence and the safety of women.

Superintendent for South Cumbria, Matt Pearman, said on Thursday: “To be approached in this way by someone falsely claiming to be a police officer must have been extremely frightening for the victim, particularly coming so soon after the sentencing of Wayne Couzens last week.

“Our officers recognised the seriousness of this incident swiftly and were able to quickly arrest Shepherd, who, less than 48 hours after the initial incident, is now starting a significant prison sentence.”