Glasgow & West Scotland

Crown drops rape case against police officer

Sgt Blair Pettigrew Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption Sgt Pettigrew will now face an internal police probe

A police officer who was due to stand trial accused of raping two women has had the case against him dropped.

The charges against Sgt Blair Pettigrew were reportedly withdrawn after an alleged victim said she may have mistaken him for "someone else".

The officer, from Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, also faced charges of indecently assaulting a third woman and indecently communicating with another.

Sgt Pettigrew, 34, had denied the charges, which dated from 2005 to 2015.

The Scottish Sun said the alleged victim's statement, which was in an email, led prosecutors to conclude there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

Internal probe

A Crown Office spokesman said: "It is the duty of the Crown to keep cases under review and after full and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances, including the admissible evidence currently available, Crown Counsel instructed there should be no further proceedings at this time.

"Should the evidential position change, the Crown reserve the right to re-raise proceedings.

"The complainers in the case have been advised of the decision."

Police Scotland acknowledged the Crown's decision and confirmed that a report on the case would now be considered by Assistant Chief Constable Alan Spiers.

A force spokesman said: "Any reports of crimes committed by police officers or staff are investigated thoroughly.

"As soon as the circumstances in this case were reported an investigation was conducted and a report was submitted to the procurator fiscal.

"Police Scotland is absolutely committed to thoroughly investigating reports of sexual crime and providing the necessary support and advice to victims, irrespective of ‎who the person suspected is or when the incident took place."

It is understood Sgt Pettigrew remains suspended on full pay pending the outcome of the internal police probe.

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