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.