Drunk man mistakes police officer for stripper

A night out drinking ended with a sobering night in the cells for a man who mistook a female police officer for a stripper.

Paul Harbord had been drinking all day when he made the mix-up in the Black Bull in Old Shotton.

Peterlee magistrates heard the 27-year-old rigger was part of a large group dressed up and looking forward to some “entertainment” booked for later that evening.

At 9.30pm, a female police officer arrived at the pub, following concerns that the group was “rowdy”.

Vicky Wilson, prosecuting, said: “Harbord shouted ‘look, here is one of the strippers’ as he flicked a bar towel in the officer’s face.”

Harbord, of Barnard Wynd, was arrested after the incident, on December 29, and pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer.

Jaxon Taylor, defending, said: “The defendant and a large group of friends were celebrating together.

“One of the defendant’s friends had suggested some entertainment had been booked for later.

“When a lone female police officer attended, someone shouted ‘here come the strippers’ but it wasn’t my client.

“He waved a beer towel from the bar in her face. He honestly didn’t believe it was a police officer until he was taken to Peterlee police station.

“He was quite embarrassed by the whole situation. It was an honest and genuine mistake.”

Harbord was given a six-month conditional discharge and told to pay £85 and a £15 victim surcharge.

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