Bogus policeman in court after showing Tesco boss a gun

Enniskillen Court House, RMGFH04

Enniskillen Court House, RMGFH04


A FATHER who pretended to be a policeman when confronting his son’s manager at Tesco in Enniskillen has been given a one month suspended sentence. 
Joseph Paul Murphy (47) pleaded not guilty to a charge of impersonating a police officer at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday following the incident which took place at the 24-hour supermarket on Saturday, November 14 last year. 
The court heard from night shift manager Sonia Archer who said she was working on the night in question. She said she had spoken with Murphy’s son earlier that night regarding his work the previous evening, stating it had not been up to standard, but said the conversation “wasn’t cross” and did not end on bad terms. 
She said some time later, around 11.40pm, Murphy came into the store and approached her. She said Murphy told her he was there to take his son home, and asked her why Tesco expected his son to work when his grandfather had just died. 
Ms Archer said the man, who sounded “annoyed but not angry”, then said he’d had to leave his work as a police officer at Castlereagh in Belfast to come down to the store, and he opened his jacket to show what appeared to be a gun in a holster. Ms Archer said she didn’t feel afraid at the time, and believed he did this to prove he was a police officer and that he was in a superior position to her. Later, however, she felt it was “unbecoming” in a police officer to show his gun not his ID, and reported him to police. 
The court also heard from duty manager at Tesco, James Farry, who said the following day, Sunday, he had received a phone call from a man with a Belfast accent who said he worked at CID, in Castlereagh, east Belfast and was looking to speak with the store manager. The man, who didn’t give his name, said he would call back when the manager was present that Monday. 
Murphy denied making any phone call to the store on the Sunday, and denied telling Ms Archer he was a policeman. In his evidence to the court he said Ms Archer had asked him if he was a police officer, and he had told her “no.” Murphy said he thought she thought he may have been a policeman as she may have caught a glimpse of his weapon, which he owns legally for personal protection. 
Murphy, a pest controller who originally hails from Belfast, said he had gone to the store to take his son home as his son had been planning on walking out of his job after being shouted at two nights in a row. He said he had gone there to diffuse the situation. Murphy also said he had told Ms Archer it was his son’s grandfather’s anniversary, not his death, and said she was lying when she said he had told her otherwise. 
District Judge Terrence Dunlop said he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms Archer and Mr Farry’s evidence was accurate, and said he was less satisfied with Murphy’s, which he said did not strike him as plausible.
Judge Dunlop convicted Murphy of the charge and sentenced him to one month in prison, suspended for two years.

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA