An award-winning Glaswegian police community support officer issued hundreds of false fixed penalty notices in an attempt to prove he was good at his job.
George McNaught was the first PCSO in London to be awarded the commendation of the High Sheriff of London after he wrestled a gun out of the hands of a woman at Victoria station in 2009.
The 48-year-old was handed the award for pinning down the armed suspect after she pointed a firearm at a young boy.
But the Westminster-based PCSO was so desperate for success that he started inventing bogus notices, usually for cycling on the pavement.
He was jailed for six months on Monday for the crime.
McNaught targeted members of the public after finding their details on items of lost property.
Some victims paid the fines, which start at £45 and quickly increase to £320, while others spent hours arguing about them in court.
One cycling-related ticket was issued to a man who had suffered nerve damage to his arm in an accident and could not even ride a bike, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.
Bailiffs were also sent to the home of another woman who had been handed a false notice.
Although the exact number of false notices issued is unknown, investigating detectives found at least 350 suspect tickets between February 2010 and September last year.
McNaught was caught after a complaint was made by a man who was fined for cycling on the pavement on the Strand.
When police searched his home they also found a canister of CS gas which had been reported missing from a police locker room.
Prosecuting Fallon Alexis gave several examples of individuals who had received the notices.
She said: "One woman had been stopped at Victoria Coach station with friends, had bailiffs come to her house after she was ordered to pay 320 in fines. She had to come to a subsequent court hearing, and in her own words felt embarrassed and humiliated, due to Mr McNaught.
"Another man who paid a £45 fine later told police that in fact he had an accident in 1997 in the Cambridge area, and he had suffered nerve damage to his left arm and shoulder, and he said in a police statement that he could not use a bicycle if he wanted to."
Judge John Hillen told McNaught his actions were "crazy" and said: "It's an abuse of power by someone who is given power and then decides to use that power in a bad way.
"As a PCSO he had a power and use it in a crazy way which is extremely harmful. You have a positively good character, for some seven years as a PCSO in which I'm told you loved, and indeed did extremely well in.
"You were serving the public but that trust placed in you, you abused. What motivated you is and remains entirely unclear. There was no financial gain, there was no corruption, there was no acting on behalf of criminals or friends.
"It seems to me, what you chose to do having been given power, was to abuse that power. The public have to be confident in the fixed penalty notice system and you undermined that confidence. Confidence in the PCSO community has also been undermined."
Ann-Marie Talbot, defending, said McNaught had since been sacked and moved back to his native Scotland where he worked as a part-time cleaner.
She said: "This was not misconduct for financial gain. It would appear there was no motivation other than a desire to be successful in his job. I don't think he understands himself though what led him to take these actions."
McNaught admitted one count of misconduct in a public office and possession of a prohibited weapon.
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