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Judge questions motive of man who pulled over off-duty officer whilst impersonating police

'We live in an era, where a young lady in London lost her life to a police officer and no later than this week Ashling Murphy, who was just 23-years-old, lost her life. Luckily he stopped an off-duty police officer, and not a lone female, who was able to report him and detect him'

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A man who pulled over an off-duty officer whilst impersonating police with a blue light fitted to his car must wait until later this year to learn his fate.

Adjourning the 27-year-old’s case, the district judge commented: “The fear that women and girls have in this day and age is palpable….to fit your car with blue flashing lights to stop another vehicle, that is sinister to put it mildly.”

Mateusz Prokopiuk, of Hobson Park in Portadown, pleaded guilty to fitting a vehicle with a blue warning beacon and impersonating a police officer at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

None of the facts were opened in court, but the particulars outline that the offences were committed on October 14, 2020, at the M12 in Craigavon.

Reports at the time stated that a male had been detained after an off-duty police officer reported being pulled over on the M1 towards Portadown at around 1am, on the date in question, by a vehicle he believed to be a police car.

Once the officer had stopped his vehicle on the hard shoulder, the driver of the ‘police car’, an unmarked grey Skoda Superb registration FT62 CEX, which had been fitted with blue flashing lights, presented an ID card and stated that the off duty officer had been driving too fast.

Recognising that the ID card was not a legitimate PSNI warrant card, the officer alighted from his car and challenged the man, who immediately drove off at speed.

The suspect was subsequently located in the Bluestone Hall area of Craigavon and was arrested. A homemade ‘PSNI identity card’ was found inside the vehicle.

Speaking on Friday, District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “The fear that women and girls have in this day and age is palpable….to fit your car with blue flashing lights to stop another vehicle, that is sinister to put it mildly.

“We live in an era, where a young lady in London lost her life to a police officer and no later than yesterday Ashling Murphy, who was just 23-years-old, lost her life.

“Luckily he stopped an off-duty police officer, and not a lone female, who was able to report him and detect him.”

When questioned by the judge about his motive, Prokopiuk simply stated that it was “the worst decision of my life”.

District Judge Kelly ordered for a presentence report to be prepared ahead of sentencing in the case on March 11.

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