“I’ve heard some excuses before but in the 10 years that I have been a police officer I have never heard a kerb crawler covering up his crimes by claiming to be buying tomatoes,” said PC Stacey Paterson.

Muhammad Ikhlaq, 39, a prison security guard, was arrested under suspicion of soliciting for the purpose of obtaining sexual services in a public place, a charge he denied.

Ikhlaq went to withdraw £20 from a cash machine and was then stopped by police – he told them his intention was to buy some tomatoes and that the woman in his car was assisting him with his fruity task.

“I asked her because I thought she looked local and I was in a hurry. She said she was going that way,” said Ikhlaq in his defence.

According to the Express and Star, Ikhlaq was ordered him to pay a £400 fine and £625 costs as magistrates thought his story was ‘not credible’.

“Our officers and the courts saw through his lies and he has now been found guilty,” said PC Paterson.

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