Man gets two years for impersonating a garda

Bilal Idrees demanded money from escort, saying he would ‘wipe her record clean’

A man has been sentenced to two years for impersonating a member of the Garda and demanding money from a woman working as an escort.

Bilal Idrees (24) with a former address at Castlegate Elms, Lucan, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of theft at an apartment in Dublin on November 11th, 2012, and to one count of impersonating a garda between November 11th and 22nd, 2012.

Prosecution counsel Michael Durack told the court that Idrees, originally from Pakistan, had lived in Ireland since May 2011, although there was no record of him entering the country.

Garda Bryan Hunt told the court that on November 11th, 2012, Idrees went to the apartment of the victim, who worked as an escort, and told her he was a Garda. He demanded €150 from her, claiming that he would “wipe her record clean” in exchange for the cash.

The court heard that Idrees also made threatening phone calls to her for several days after visiting her apartment.

The victim is a foreign national and had little English. Garda Hunt said that because of this - and the fact that Idrees was carrying an official-looking badge, later discovered to be a security officer’s badge from the UK - she had no reason to believe Idrees was not a garda.

The woman later went to a social worker who told her that a garda would not do the things Idress was doing. As a result she contacted gardaí.

Using the woman’s phone, gardaí arranged for Idrees to come to the woman’s apartment, where they arrested him.

Idrees was taken into custody on November 22nd, 2012, and admitted the offences.

Defence counsel Padraig Dwyer told the court that Idrees had no previous convictions and worked in a late-night store in Dublin centre at the time of the offence. He said Idrees had expressed remorse.

Mr Justice Paul Carney sentenced Idrees to two years for each offence, to run concurrently. He backdated the sentence to March 2013 when Idrees went into custody after his bail was revoked.

A nolle prosequi (do no prosecute) was entered on two other counts. Idrees had previously pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment of the woman at the apartment on November 11th, 2012, and to demanding money with menaces between November 11th and 22nd, 2012.

He was due to go on trial for these offences this week but the complainant did not show up.