A man who made a fellow motorist believe he was a policeman was given an absolute discharge by magistrates because he was already serving a prison sentence for dangerous driving.

Nottingham magistrates heard on Monday that Jason Gulliford turned on red and blue flashing lights, which he had fitted to his 4x4, while driving erratically behind a woman.

Gulliford, 45, of Moor Lane, East Stoke, faced three charges arising from the incident on December 6 that were sent  to magistrates from Nottingham Crown Court.

He was sentenced at the crown court in May to six months for dangerous driving as part of the incident to be served concurrently with a three-year sentence for an unrelated matter of putting a person in fear of violence by harassment.

He was also sentenced to a month in prison, to be served concurrently, for an unrelated assault and another month, again to be served concurrently, for assault on a police officer with intent to resist arrest.

He was banned from driving for 37 months and must take an extended driving test.

The matters sent to the magistrates’ court were impersonating a police officer, driving without insurance and using a fake number plate.

Gulliford admitted impersonating a policeman but denied the other charges, which were withdrawn.

Prosecutor Miss Ann Barrett said the woman Gulliford was driving behind, in a statement to police, said he had been tail-gating her, driving six to eight inches from her rear bumper, before switching on red and blue flashing lights on his dashboard on the A46 Lord Ted roundabout at Newark.

Home was searched

The woman pulled over after the roundabout but Gulliford overtook and sped away in the direction of Farndon.

Miss Barrett said the woman’s suspicions were aroused when she saw Gulliford was wearing a tweed jacket.

She made a note of his number plate and told the police what had happened.

Miss Barrett said Gulliford’s home was searched and the vehicle, with the lights still fitted, was on the driveway.

Miss Amanda Parker, defending, said the belief Gulliford had been a policeman was momentary but her client conceded that was the impression he gave.

“He had not purchased the lights to mislead the public. He bought them to be fitted to his son’s quad bike. He put them on the car simply because of the way they fitted,” she said.

“He wasn’t wearing a police uniform, he was wearing a tweed jacket. He didn’t flash a warrant card.

“It is very much linked to the dangerous driving, which he has already been punished for.”

After taking advice from the court clerk, the bench took the sentencing option of an absolute discharge, meaning Gulliford was guilty of the offence and it remained on his criminal record.

He escaped further punishment as he was already in jail for dangerous driving in relation to the incident.