Dave McLuckie denies witness intimidation charge

Dave McLuckie
Image caption Dave McLuckie denies witness intimidation

A former police authority boss has denied intimidating a potential witness and insisted he did not warn a friend "you don't know what I can do".

Dave McLuckie, who was chair of Cleveland Police Authority, is accused of being aggressive towards taxi driver Peter Blyth while on bail as part of a corruption investigation.

The 52-year-old told Newcastle Crown Court he sought legal advice before speaking to Mr Blyth.

He denies witness intimidation.

The jury has heard Mr McLuckie remains on bail as part of Operation Sacristy, an inquiry into individuals connected with the police authority.

Police warning

They were also told he was convicted of perverting the course of justice in June after persuading a friend to take penalty points for him so could avoid a driving ban.

Mr McLuckie disputed evidence from Mr Blyth, an unlicensed taxi driver who regularly drove him to functions.

He said he visited him in March with unused material in relation to the perverting the course of justice case.

The document showed Nancy Ward, the widow of the friend who took the penalty points for Mr McLuckie, had spoken to police about Mr Blyth driving the defendant.

Mr McLuckie said he showed Mr Blyth the document to warn him the police knew he was operating as an unofficial taxi driver.

'Perfectly fine'

He hoped Mr Blyth may pass on useful information about Mrs Ward, which could help his defence in the trial, the court heard.

Mr McLuckie said he first spoke to his solicitor.

"I felt I should take it to Peter, show him it and [I was] hopeful he would be annoyed about it and I would then ask him if she [Mrs Ward] had said anything of value to me, and he would tell me.

"I was told that would be perfectly fine."

Julian Smith, defending, asked Mr McLuckie: "Did you say 'You and one or two others, you don't know what I can do'?"

"No, not at all," Mr McLuckie said.

On Wednesday, the court heard Mr McLuckie had "put the frighteners" on Mr Blyth.

The trial continues.

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