Glasgow & West Scotland

Ex-police officer Mark Docherty cleared of sex charges

A former police officer has been cleared of sexually abusing two women in separate incidents while on duty.

Mark Docherty, 37, was alleged to have faked a drugs find in April 2010 to force a woman into a sex act, while threatening she could lose her child.

He was also charged with molesting another woman in September 2010 - again in Paisley - during a drugs search.

Mr Docherty, who denied the allegations, walked free after the Crown withdrew the charges against him.

It was alleged that both incidents took place while Mr Docherty was a serving police office and on patrol in uniform.

Identification parade

The case against Mr Docherty was withdrawn at the High Court in Glasgow after evidence was heard from one of the alleged victims.

In her evidence, a 37-year-old woman gave a different account of the alleged sexual assault from what she had told police in a statement.

Following this evidence, advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith, prosecuting, decided to halt the trial.

The jury also heard that during an identification parade, held before the trial, the woman had picked out a stand-in and not the accused.

Mr Niven-Smith told judge Lord Bonomy: "Having regard to the evidence we have heard, I am withdrawing the charge. It would not be proper, having regard to the quality of the evidence the jury heard to do otherwise."

'Unusual circumstances'

The court was told the second charge relied on the first for corroboration and it too was withdrawn.

Lord Bonomy told Mr Docherty: "I acquit you of both charges."

He then turned to the jury and said: "This is a highly unusual set of circumstances. The advocate depute has taken the decision he could not ask you to accept the evidence of the woman you have just heard in this case.

"There is no corroboration for the charges other than the similarity of both cases. Both have to be proved or both collapse.

"I consider that the advocate depute has taken the correct course of action."

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