A MAN pretended to be a police officer while telling a takeaway owner that he had to close his business following a dispute over a refund.

Paul Jackson, 39, of Grandstand Road, Hereford pleaded guilty to sending a communication conveying false information and intending to impersonate a special constable or member of the police force.

Amy Davies, prosecuting at Hereford Magistrates Court last Thursday, said the injured party, Gergo Csobor, was the owner of a takeaway food delivery business.

She said Mr Csobor received an order for a delivery on June 24 which had been paid for up front by the defendant’s partner.

Due to issues delivering previously, the injured party made the decision not to undertake the delivery and spoke to Jackson’s partner to inform her the order had been cancelled and that a refund had been issued.

Jackson sent a text message to the victim stating: ‘I’m going to give you a bad reputation pal, police will be informed.’

A further message was sent stating: ‘Hereford is a small place pal, expect a visit from the police.’

On July 6, Mr Csobor received a voicemail from a number he didn’t recognise, the message stated: ‘This is PC Moore, can you phone me? I have been told you stole between £30 and £40. Get back to me as soon as possible.’

Mr Csobor returned the phone call and a man answered, stating he was PC Moore.

The victim was told that he was wanted on warrant for the theft of £40 and asked for his address so police could attend.

In response Mr Csobor said he would just go to the police station.

“Jackson repeated his request for the injured party’s address and for a few minutes he totally believed he was on the phone to the police,” said Mrs Davies.

“The defendant asked for his date of birth, whether he was eligible to work and if he had a passport. The injured party was told that his bank account had been frozen and he had to shut his business down with immediate effect.”

When Mr Csobor got home he was able to put the phone number into his business system and traced it back to Jackson.

In interview, Jackson said he couldn’t remember making the voicemail but was probably very drunk.

Philip Cornell, defending Jackson, added: “The real problem is at home and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“He admits what happens was because of the stress he was under and just loses it.”

Magistrates adjourned the case until October for a probation report to be prepared.