Gone But Not Forgotten
- Sep 25, 2003
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Guardian UnlimitedWindsor Castle stunt by multiple hoaxer
Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent
Tuesday January 11, 2005
A hoaxer who admitted tricking his way into Windsor Castle by posing as a senior Scotland Yard detective wasted police time and resources by sending officers on a string of wild goose chases.
Michael Hammond, 36, spent more than an hour wandering the castle grounds after ringing officers stationed there and convincing them he was a policeman accompanying friends of Princes William and Harry.
The incident came just 12 days after a major review of royal security and the appointment of a new security liaison director, Brigadier Geoff Cook.
But yesterday, as Hammond pleaded guilty to one count of being a public nuisance - incorporating 11 instances of impersonating a police officer - and one charge of wasting police time, Isleworth crown court heard how he rang police 133 times in 11 months.
Pretending to be real officers from the Metropolitan and other police forces, he made the phone calls between September 2003 and August 2004.
His wild claims included spotting armed men near Downing Street and in Canary Wharf and a murder suspect at London city airport. Several calls resulted in specialist armed units being deployed to frisk innocent members of the public. Even after being arrested and bailed for the Windsor Castle incident, while travelling on a ferry to Dover on July 15 last year he claimed to be from Interpol and had an Iraqi family stopped and searched.
Last February, he was given a police motor escort after posing as a surgeon on his way to perform life-saving surgery on a sick child.
He was arrested a number of times during his hoax campaign, but it was only when police put together phone records that a full picture emerged.
Over the years, Hammond, the son of a painter and decorator from Bexhill, East Sussex, has posed as a millionaire playboy and claimed to have dated famous women, including Jordan and Dannii Minogue, who have all vigorously denied the claims.
Hammond, who has 102 previous offences, the majority for fraud and deception and two for impersonating a police officer, will be sentenced on February 4.
© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005