Community support officer jailed for issuing bogus fines to cyclists

An award-winning police community support officer was jailed for six months yesterday for issuing hundred of false fixed penalty notices.

George McNaught, 48, was the first PCSO in London to be awarded the commendation of the High Sheriff of London after he wrestled a gun out of the hands of a woman at Victoria station in 2009.

But the Westminster-based PCSO was so desperate for success that he started inventing bogus notices, usually for cycling on the pavement. McNaught targeted unwitting members of the public after finding their details on items of lost property.

One ticket was issued to man who had suffered nerve damage to his arm in an accident and could not even ride a bike, Blackfriars Crown Court, London, heard.

Although the exact number of false notices issued is unknown, investigating detectives found at least 350 suspect tickets between February 2010 and September last year.

When police searched McNaught's home they also found a canister of CS gas which had been reported missing from a police locker room.

Fallon Alexis, prosecuting, gave examples of individuals who had received the notices. "One woman had been stopped at Victoria Coach station with friends, had bailiffs come to her house after she was ordered to pay £320 in fines. She had to come to a court hearing, and in her own words felt embarrassed and humiliated due to Mr McNaught.

"Another man who paid a £45 fine later told police he had an accident in 1997, and had suffered nerve damage to his left arm and shoulder, and he said he could not use a bicycle if he wanted to."

Judge John Hillen told McNaught his actions were "crazy" and said: "You were serving the public but that trust placed in you, you abused."

McNaught admitted one count of misconduct in a public office and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine