Sergeant Eros walks free to international fame
On 16 January 2008 charges of police officer impersonation and breach of the peace against Stuart Kennedy, aka Sergeant Eros, in relation to an incident at the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Aberdeen in November 2007 were dropped by the procurator fiscal and the case not called at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
The struggle between student Mr Kennedy (25), who dresses in police uniform as part of a stripogram act, and Grampian Police has been regularly covered in these pages, and the details will not be rehearsed here again. There are still, Scots Law News thinks, at least a couple of other charges pending, so the story is not over yet.
But the media and the blogosphere got into a bit of a tizzy about the whole affair after The Scotsman newspaper published on 19 January the revelation that so far £170,000 of public money had been spent by Grampian Police in the pursuit of Mr Kennedy, with 22 court appearances to date and no convictions. Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn talked of “an outrageous abuse of police resources” and also alleged that “cops are subsidising their wages with part-time jobs, including throwing underwear parties … [O]ther officers … have a sideline knocking out lacy thongs and nipple tassels.” The Mail also provided us with a sexy photograph of the great man. The Independent dubbed Mr Kennedy’s act “the peeling policeman”, possibly missing an opportunity to talk as well about Peelers (see here for explanation if you don’t get it). Coverage as well in The Daily Dust and Nerja News, via which the story even got to Spain. For comment in the blogosphere see The Police Box, Fatmammy.com, Kansascity.com, and Dvorak Uncensored (photo here too).
Alan Donnelly, local councillor for Torry and Ferryhill and a member of Grampian Police Board, said, “As far as I can see, they are hounding the guy when they should be combating crime on the streets of Aberdeen. I don’t think it is in the public interest to be chasing around after students making a few bob on the weekends.” But Colin Menzies, Assistant Chief Constable of Grampian, defended his force’s actions, saying “I am extremely disappointed that the force and our officers have come in for such criticism when I believe they have acted proportionately and with the greater interests of the community we serve at heart throughout.”
The Scotsman article also helpfully summarises the content of Mr Kennedy’s act – “an initial five-minute introductory "police" routine, followed by a 20-minute striptease during which he is able to preserve his modesty thanks to a carefully positioned police hat” – notes that he charges £115 per show, and has several other routines – all this doubtless courtesy of publicist Caroline Weintz, who also gets a name check in the article. Could she have anything to do with the international flurry of interest in all this, wonders Scots Law News? There's certainly a lot of other detail in the rest of the coverage mentioned above about Mr Kennedy which hasn't been available before, such as his training as a dancer.
It will be recalled from a previous post that Mr Kennedy is moving to a career in shipping. Suggestions of a name for a sailor stripogam act welcome, just in case the recession cuts off the avenue provided by the sea. Captain Hook? Hello Sailor? Popeye? The possibilities seem endless.