Stripper Sgt Eros guilty of pretending to be a policeman and pulling over cars

A MALE stripper has been found guilty of impersonating a police officer and pulling over other drivers using flashing lights.

Stuart Kennedy, of Aberdeen, fitted a white strobe light to the dashboard of his car to stop motorists on Aberdeenshire roads on 28 June, a court heard yesterday.

The stripper, known as Sgt Eros, was also dressed as a police officer and had police equipment in his red Peugeot while driving on the way to work last year.

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The 26-year-old was on his way to perform a strip act at the Palace Hotel in Peterhead when the first incident, involving 21-year-old delivery driver James Buchan, took place. A few hours later, he pulled over off-duty firefighter Jamie Lawrie with his strobe light on the A90 Aberdeen to Peterhead road.

Giving evidence yesterday, 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 at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

In January, police were criticised by some politicians for wasting time on Kennedy after it emerged he had made more than 20 court appearances since 2007 without once being convicted.

Asked about the Peterhead incident, Kennedy said: "I was running a bit late. I was aware of things getting thrown out of the window on the road.

"One object caught my eye, it looked like a small mobile phone. I put on my safety light. It flashes slower than an indicator. It's like a bicycle lamp."

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, but could not remember the other car involved.

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Jamie 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.

Yesterday Kennedy admitted it "probably wasn't the best idea" to use the strobe but he didn't know it was illegal at the time.

Kennedy was further accused of having a genuine police uniform and equipment in his car without a satisfactory explanation. However, he claimed an entertainment supplier had sold him the items after checking his credentials as a stripper.

Defence lawyer Ian McGregor asked: "Of the various items that have been produced in court, we've heard that a number of these were of old issue and not current."

Kennedy replied: "I personally aim for a police officer of the 1990s or what people would perceive from The Bill. A shirt and tie also look a lot smarter than the black shirt they wear now."

Procurator fiscal Sandy Hutchison said Kennedy had given a "satisfactory" explanation for being in possession of police items in court, but was vague during police interview.

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

Sheriff Lewis deferred sentence due to the "unusual" nature of the charges until 16 July.

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Kennedy last night said he was "astounded" by the guilty verdict: "I am shocked. It's totally ridiculous to suggest that I have ever used any costume or props in an illegal manner." He described the verdict as "bizarre" and said he planned to appeal.

Chief Inspector Gerry Cronin, of Grampian Police, said: "This has never been about preventing an entertainer from performing. It's about public safety."