On January 11, 2023, the Debrecen Court announced a decision in the criminal case of the man who impersonated a police officer and fined a shop assistant in Debrecen. This was not the first “action” of the fake policeman, he previously “took action” in Hajdúsámson, and now he is going to prison.
The court of the second instance upheld the judgment of the Debrecen District Court. The first-instance court found the man guilty of the crime of extortion and three counts of forgery of public documents as an instigator, and therefore sentenced him to 3 years and 4 months in prison as a cumulative punishment and banned him from practicing public affairs for 4 years. The decision is final.
Regarding the second defendant in the case, who created the fake police certificates, the judgment became final on July 5, 2022, as both the prosecution and the defendant took note of the HUF 300,000 fine imposed on him. The mock police officer and his defense lawyer filed an appeal against the decision.
According to the final verdict, on January 12, 2022, the man appeared at a printing shop in Debrecen, where he falsely claimed to be a police officer and left his ID.
The defendant asked the seller to make a copy by searching the Internet for a picture of an official police ID. The woman prepared the identity card based on the sample, on which she wrote the name provided by the accused and also edited the man’s photo on it. The saleswoman used this method to make three fake IDs at the man’s persuasion. The man placed one of the fake documents in a case with a police badge and appeared in a tobacco shop in Debrecen on the morning of January 18, 2022.
After a customer had left, the accused approached the seller, showed his ID, and said that he was a police officer and that he could report him for wearing a mask incorrectly. After the woman handed over her identity card, the defendant pretended to check the woman’s information with the center over the phone.
This is how the man wanted to create the appearance of credibility and pretended that he was negotiating with his colleague about the violation. The fake policeman then informed the victim that if he reported it, he could receive a fine of HUF 50-150,000, but this amount could be much lower if he could settle it on the spot. In the forced situation created by the man, the victim, fearing a much higher fine, obeyed the call in fear and handed HUF 5,000 to the man, who then left the store.
The second-instance court reviewed the district court’s decision in the framework of a limited review, as a result of which it saw no reason to apply a lighter sentence. The accused and his lawyer based their appeal on the fact that the man showed remorse, made a confession, and, according to them, crimes of this nature have not multiplied.
Dr. Béla Szurdi, the president of the criminal council, said in his explanation that the court’s position was that the confession had less momentum, considering that the crime was videotaped. The remorseful behavior was also overshadowed by the fact that he had previously committed the same crime, which was also in court. In addition, the man was subject to criminal proceedings and a suspended prison sentence. The proliferation is well known, as, during the period of the coronavirus epidemic, crimes against public trust and identity card forgery increased nationally. The court’s decision is final.