A parcel deliveryman who convinced his friends, families and even his wife that he was a Metropolitan Police officer was jailed for 20 months today

A parcel deliveryman who convinced his friends, families and even his wife that he was a Metropolitan Police officer was jailed for 20 months today.

Stuart Howatson, 31, was so confident of his impersonation that he gave a talk to schoolchildren about the work of the police while wearing a uniform partly bought on eBay and carrying a baton.

At his 2006 wedding, he told guests that Sir John Stevens, then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, would be in attendance and set out a place for him at the dinner reception. When Sir John did not appear, Howatson claimed in his groom’s speech that the Commissioner was absent because of “security issues”.

When questioned by friends, Howatson claimed variously to be a firearms officer, a dog handler, a senior officer on sabbatical leave, and a protection officer for the Queen.

But the real Metropolitan Police became aware of his activities in 2008 after he offered to buy the £720,000 Spanish villa where he spent his honeymoon. He created false bank statements showing monthly deposits from “Met Police” and “MPA” as proof his sound finances while taking several free breaks at the £1,200-week villa.

After two years of bounced cheques and excuses, the owner of the villa, a friend of Howatson’s who was convinced he was being scammed by a genuine police officer, reported him to the Metropolitan Police’s Anti-Corruption Command.

A Met spokesman said the Command at first believed they were dealing with a corrupt police officer. “It was only when we looked into it further that it became apparent he was not a Met officer,” he said.

The Times

The article continues:

Looked like the real thing. Talked like the real thing. Wanted to be the real thing. Wasn’t the real thing.

In sentencing, Judge Hooper, QC described him as “a common trickster and a conman”.

Today he pleaded guilty to possession of articles of police uniform, false accounting, fraud by false representation and possession of and making indecent images of children. He also admitted a charge of possession of an offensive weapon for the baton he had brought to the nursery school.

Detective Inspector Claire Moxon, of the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “Howatson went to great lengths to maintain a long-running deceit, taking advantage of the trust placed in him by the people around him.

“His behaviour has not only deeply affected his family and friends, but risked undermining the integrity and professionalism of genuine police officers everywhere.”

The fake policemen undermines the credibility of the true. That’s another reason why false prophets should be exposed – for the credibility of the gospel.

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