A FORMER landscape gardener took his anti-drugs stance too far when he pretended to be a police officer to scare away suspected cannabis users.
Kevin Trevor Friett pleaded guilty at Chester Magistrates Court to impersonating a police off icer at the George and Dragon Pub, in Tarvin High Street, after he and his wife were disturbed by a couple during a pub quiz.
Prosecuting, Michael McKnight told the court yesterday how, on April 24, Friett, of Hockenhull Avenue, Tarvin, approached the young couple, asking what they had on them.
Friett then asked them to leave the pub and questioned them about the contents of their pockets.
When asked who he was, Friett informed them he was 'PC 47' but had no identification. At this point the couple became suspicious and called the police from inside the pub.
Mr McKnight said a policeman attended and found Friett, who appeared to be drunk, inside the pub. He was arrested and taken to Chester Police Station. The following evening he said he could not recall the incident.
Defending, Stephen Coupe told how 44-year-old Friett claimed he had seen a young couple approach various tables in the pub before they came up to him.
Friett, who holds a strong anti-drugs stance, thought he could smell cannabis on the couple as they approached his table.
Becoming suspicious, Friett asked them 'What have you got?' and a discussion took place.
Friett admitted telling them he was a police off icer but denied taking the couple outside.
Mr Coupe said: 'Mr Friett's reasons were genuine and not deceitful. He just wanted to get them away, it was a means to an end.'
He told magistrates that Friett was suffering emotional problems and taking medication for depression following the breakdown of his marriage of 11 years.
He said Friett was under stress after his wife had taken two of his four children to live with her and he was no longer in work following the closure of his successful landscape gardening business.
Character references were submitted by Friett's doctor and vicar.
The court also heard the of-fence was a breach of a previous 18 month conditional discharge for common assault against his wife following an argument.
Chairman of the bench Michael Darby asked Friett if he had considered moving from the table.
Mr Coupe replied on his behalf, saying: 'Mr Friett admits that this was a foolish and impromptu thing to do and accepts there could have been a better way to deal with it.'
The bench requested reports from the probation service before deciding on sentence but indicated they were considering a rehabilitation order.
The case was adjourned for three weeks while a pre-sentence report was compiled and Friett was released on unconditional bail.
Outside the courtroom, Friett said: 'I just think it has all been blown out of proportion. I didn't intend to harm anybody, I just don't like drugs.'
He added: 'I just felt they were invading our privacy. I should have said I was a pilot.'