Northern Ireland

Police officer Keith Andrew Davidson 'concocted incidents'

Downpatrick courthouse
Image caption The PSNI officer appeared before Downpatrick Crown Court

A policeman concocted 16 incidents to make it appear he was being intimidated, a court has been told.

Keith Andrew Davidson is on trial at Dowpatrick Crown Court charged with fraud and misconduct in public office.

He is accused of making a fraudulent application for the purchase of his home under the Scheme for the Purchase of Evacuated Dwellings (SPED) scheme.

Mr Davidson, whose address was given as Bangor police station, denies the charges.

A prosecution barrister told the court that in January 2008 Davidson put the house on the market with an asking price of £380,000.

At the time, the court heard, he was separating from his wife.

There were several offers to buy the property but all were turned down. It was at a time when the property market was not as strong as it had been.

In June 2008 Davidson made a SPED application which was turned down. The property was eventually sold in 2011 for £232,000.

In April 2008, the court heard, there was the first of 16 incidents, that the the prosecution said were concocted to make it look as if Davidson was being intimidated.

The first was an anonymous call to the estate agent asking if the vendor was a member of the security forces.

Another was a man who turned up for a viewing without an appointment.

One weekend 24 businesses turned up at the Davidson home. These included pizza deliveries, taxis and offers of gardening work.

The court heard that Davidson's son made a list of the callers but the list wasn't kept. The prosecution barrister said it was unconceivable that a police officer would not have kept the details.

One another occasion, the court heard, Davidson's then wife, Denise, heard a car in their drive in the middle of the night and that Davidson didn't get up to check who it was.

A local minister, Peter Murray, took an anonymous call to say there was a man lurking in the area where Mr Davidson lived.

On another occasion a call was made to the office of MLA Peter Weir to say that two policemen were to be attacked and gave the address of Mr Davidson and another police officer, Michael Hill, who happened to live a few doors away.

Mr Hill, now retired, told the court he received two letters addressed to Mr Davidson. One contained information about paying for your own funeral in advance and the other a sympathy card.

It was after these and other incidents that Mr Davidson made the SPED application.

In June, the application was turned down.

Then in July, the prosecution barrister said, Jamie Bryson of the Kilcooley Community Forum took a call from an anonymous male saying that people from the Westwinds estate in Newtownards were going to strike in Bangor and only they could stop it.

In August, Davidson's wife and son witnessed their car being stolen. The court heard it was later found burned out. It was valued at £700.

The trial continues.

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