Police officers fooled by bogus colleague

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The Independent Online
OFFICERS at some of London's busiest police divisions were fooled by a former Marine who for months posed as a colleague and once even led a police-Customs 'joint operation'.

David Wheatley, 28, was living in a fantasy world after his dream of becoming a policeman was shattered when he was rejected by the Metropolitan Police at 18.

Wheatley formerly served as a Special Constable, and was married to a serving woman officer.

Marylebone magistrates' court, was told that Wheatley, a former security-officer, had led a team of bona-fide officers on a police and Customs 'joint operation'.

Wheatley, whose address was given as Juniper Heights, an RAF base in Uxbridge, west London, had admitted impersonating police at Notting Hill police station between 1 and 30 September last year and at Shepherd's Bush police station between 1 and 31 July this year. He also admitted a similar charge at Notting Hill on 6 August this year, and dishonestly obtaining a pounds 300 telephone pager.

Tim Thompson, for the prosecution, said it was not clear how Wheatley had been found out.

'It became clear that various officers in the Metropolitan Police had had dealings with him. He had gone into non-public areas and socialised with officers, and was believed to be a police officer,' Mr Thompson said. A warrant card, handcuffs and police stationery were found at his home.

Michael George, for the defence, said: 'The benefit for him was that of the friendship of police officers. He was welcomed as a friend and a colleague. He wasn't a nuisance.'

He was conditionally discharged for a year and ordered to pay pounds 30 costs.

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