UK conman posing as Sherlock Holmes stories' cop jailed

1 min

London (AFP)

A British conman who posed as a policeman with the same name as the inspector from the Sherlock Holmes stories and stole thousands of pounds in cash, has been jailed.

Aaron Cowan, 24, of Kent -- a county southeast of London -- identified himself as Greg Lestrade, the fictional inspector from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's series, and wore a fake police badge when targeting bookmakers and stores.

In one instance he netted £4,840 ($ 6,370) from a gambling outlet while pretending to test fraudulent bank notes with a pipette.

Cowan's crime spree, in March and April, came to an end after a victim grew suspicious of the Lestrade name and called real police officers.

They found the fraudulent badge, cash and other evidence when they searched his home.

A criminal court judge on Wednesday sentenced Cowan, who had pleaded guilty to six charges of dishonestly making a false representation for gain, to five years in prison.

"We are unsure why he chose such a distinctive name but it transpired to be his downfall," said Investigating officer Detective Constable Gareth Foreman, of Kent Police.

"In the words of the great Sherlock Holmes himself - what one man can invent, another can discover."