A man who pretended to be a policeman in order to “fine” a man he tricked into meeting for sex has been jailed for nine months.

David Catleugh, 27, dressed up in his girlfriend’s prison officer uniform to meet the man at a house in Darlington last summer, the Northern Echo reports.

He made contact with the man on a gay website and led him to believe they would meet for sex.

When the victim arrived at the property, Catleugh emerged from an alley wearing the uniform and told the man that what he was doing was against the law.

He told his victim, who has mental health problems, that his name and photo would be in the local newspaper if he did not hand over his bank card.

Catleugh took the victim to a cashpoint but was not able to withdraw any money. Instead, he stole a credit card and used it to buy a mountain bike.

When arrested, he initially claimed that the man owed him money from previous meetings for sex.

His girlfriend, whose uniform he borrowed, knew nothing of his activities.

Catleugh, of Cobden Street, Darlington, admitted blackmail, theft and fraud at an earlier hearing.