NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Bogus policeman jailed for two random street attacks

High Court in Edinburgh
Image caption Mortimer admitted the offences when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh

A violent criminal who claimed to be a police officer during a street attack and robbery in Aberdeen has been jailed for more than five years.

Michael Mortimer carried out assaults on two strangers within a week seeking cash and valuables to fund his drug addiction.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mortimer, 35, has served seven prison sentences for violent crime.

Lord Woolman told him: "Since 2000 you have been a menace to society."

The judge said he had repeatedly offended over two decades.

'Frightening ordeals'

He added: "The offences which have brought you to court today are nasty. You subjected two strangers to frightening ordeals."

The judge acknowledged Mortimer had experienced a troubled upbringing and his life had been "cursed by drug abuse".

The serial offender, who has more than 100 convictions, was told he would have been jailed for eight years if he had not tendered a guilty plea earlier this month.

Mortimer was jailed for five years and four months and told he will be kept under supervision for a further three-year period.

The court heard he first struck on the evening of 8 February, after being released from jail the previous month.

Mortimer attacked James Warrender, 27, as he loaded items into the boot of his car in Ferryhill Gardens.

Six days later he targeted Aberdeen University student Nam Vo, 37, after stopping him in the street and pretending to be a police officer.

Mr Vo began to shout for help but Mortimer grabbed him by his jacket and forced him into a bus shelter.

Vietnamese dong note

He beat up the student and escaped with his wallet which contained $200 US dollars, 100 Euros, £40 and 200,000 Vietnamese dong as well as a bank card.

The following day police inquiries at a foreign exchange identified Mortimer as a man who had exchanged the dollars and Euros for sterling.

Mortimer was later arrested at an address in Aberdeen and was found to be still in possession of the Vietnamese dong note.

He has been jailed four times at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for serious assault and robberies, including four years imprisonment imposed in 2011, and also has convictions for possessing bladed weapons.

Defence counsel David Moggach said that after his release from prison Mortimer was housed at temporary accommodation and came into contact with other residents who were using drugs.

He said: "Despite wishing to remain drug free he gave in to temptation and started using illicit street drugs. In his desperation he succumbed to robbing two people in the street."

Mortimer told a social worker he was "an idiot" and said: "I regret it big time. I created victims for nothing."

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