False police officer tries to ‘arrest’ single woman in parking lot ‘for drug trafficking’

Gary Shepherd showed a woman a blue string with ‘POLICE’ written in the Barrow car park in Cumbria, only to flee when she inquired about his credentials and called a passerby.

Gary Shepherd mistakenly identified himself as a police officer
Gary Shepherd mistakenly identified himself as a police officer

A fake police officer only tried to “arrest” a single woman for fleeing when she questioned his credentials.

In a case that shows grim similarities to Wayne Couzens, Gary Shepherd mistakenly identified himself as an officer after approaching a woman in a Barrow parking lot in Cumbria.

On October 5, the 44-year-old wore a blue string around his neck with ‘POLICE’ on and told the shocked single woman: “I’m arresting you for drug trafficking.”

Luckily, the fast-thinking woman questioned his credentials and called a passerby.

As they both challenged Shepherd, he ran away, hearing Barrow Magistrates’ Court.

He was convicted in Barrow Magistrates’ Court


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Thursday morning before the justices of the peace, Shepherd was jailed for 22 weeks after admitting to imitating a police officer and joint assault.

He was also fined £ 85 and ordered to pay costs of £ 128.

Superintendent Matt Pearman, of Cumbria Police, said: “Although this issue has been dealt with quickly, it does not change the fact that it is a serious concern.

“Being approached in this way by someone who falsely claims to be a police officer must have been extremely intimidating to the victim, especially when it came so soon after the verdict on Wayne Couzens last week.

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

Wayne Couzens arrested Sarah Everard under false pretenses


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Gary Shepherd approached the woman in the parking lot on Greengate Street


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“In addition to thanking the victim and the eyewitness, we would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service and the court for the prompt manner in which the case has been handled.”

Superintendent Pearman had referred to the fact that marketing manager Sarah Everard died of Couzens.

The 33-year-old had been walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on March 3, when she was abducted by a Met Police officer who arrested her under false pretenses.

Shepherd had approached her frightened victim when she went to her car in the Greengate car park in Barrow, shortly after 6.30pm on Tuesday night.

When he was captured after fleeing, he initially refused to be in the area or commit offenses.

But in his second interview, officers were able to present evidence that he was not telling the truth, at which point Shepherd claimed his actions had been a “joke.”

Shepherd has a four-week suspended sentence hanging over his head from August this year after he threatened to kill two brothers in a row of streets while armed with a piece of wood.

Shepherd had a long-running dispute with David and Alan Harris and a chance encounter at a pub in Barrow saw him yell at them, “I want to kill you.”

He was spared imprisonment after pleading guilty to an offense committed on June 18 by the South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court.

The court told Shepherd had been in a relationship with one of the brothers’ daughters.

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