A MAN who pretended to be a police detective before demanding two young men empty their pockets and assaulting one of them was today spared jail – for now.
Robert Clark spotted a group of teenagers standing at a bus stop in Nethergate, Dundee, on a Saturday evening in December last year.
He first smiled at them when he walked past – before turning back moments later and confronting them.
Clark grabbed two of them by their jackets and pulled them in to an alcove outside a business centre.
He then claimed he was a CID officer and demanded they empty their pockets.
Clark told them he believed they were pickpockets.
However, the boys, one aged just 15, refused to hand over any money and asked to see Clark’s police ID.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard Clark became “very aggressive” towards them and punched the older boy twice.
Bystanders then intervened and Clark left – claiming he was “going to get his pals”.
Instead Clark went to a pub yards from Dundee’s police HQ.
When he was eventually detained the following day Clark claimed the “f***** little b******* were pickpocketing” and admitted throwing them against a wall.
Clark also stated: “He’s lucky it was me and not someone else – someone that would wipe the floor with the little thieving b******.”
When asked why he hadn’t simply reported any suspected crime to the police he added: “I’m not a grass.”
Clark, 42, of Miltonfield, Cupar, Fife, pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer and assaulting two people on December 5 last year in Nethergate, Dundee.
John Boyle, defending, said: “There are reports available that suggest a community payback order is appropriate.”
Sheriff Tom Hughes deferred sentence on Clark for six months for him to get treatment for an alcohol problem.
But he warned Clark that if he didn’t comply fully he would face six months in jail.
The sheriff said: “The reports say you have reservations about some of this.
“My reservation was whether or not I was going to send you to jail or not today.
“That type of behaviour normally carries a custodial sentence.
“I’m not letting you off the hook.
“I’m deferring sentence for six months and I’m doing that for you to get help for your alcohol problem and for you to be of good behaviour.
“If I don’t get a glowing report in six months you will be going to jail for six months.”