Tayside and Central Scotland

Drugs squad officer cleared of assaults on suspects

A drugs squad detective has been cleared of a string of charges of assaulting suspects.

DC Russell Gillespie was accused of six assaults and a breach of the peace while on duty with Tayside Police in Dundee and Perth between 2010 and 2011.

A jury at Dundee Sheriff Court took less than two hours to find him not guilty of attacking suspects.

Police union bosses criticised the dealers who made "false allegations to discredit one of our finest officers".

One of those who accused the 42-year-old of assaulting him was William Forbes - a repeat drugs offender currently serving a six year term imposed last year at the High Court for selling heroin.

He claimed Mr Gillespie had "punched him square in the face" as he sat in the back of his car during a drugs bust and that the attack had come out of nowhere as he acted in total compliance.

But other officers and independent witnesses described Forbes struggling with officers as they attempted to handcuff him.

Charges dropped

Another man, Alistair Carrie, claimed he had been attacked with a baton during another raid.

He said: "He was hitting me over the hand with it saying, 'Hold him down, I'll break his fingers.'"

In another incident Mr Gillespie was accused of kicking a suspect in the groin as he lay on the ground - but Mr Gillespie said he only kicked him on the legs to take him to the ground.

Mr Gillespie whose address was given in court as care of the Police Service of Scotland, denied 11 charges on indictment.

Four of the charges were dropped at the close of the Crown case, and the jury found him not guilty of all seven charges put to them.

David Hamilton of the Scottish Police Federation said Mr Gillespie was "relieved" to have been acquitted.

He added: "This tactic of making false allegations was used by the Tayside drug dealing fraternity to try to discredit one of the area's finest drug squad officers.

"Despite this continuing threat Scottish police officers will pursue those that peddle misery on Scotland's streets."

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