Tayside and Central Scotland

Tayside Police worker denies car fire fraud

A senior police administrator is to stand trial accused of trying to torch her £18,000 sports car in a bid to defraud her insurance company.

Theresa Noble also allegedly lied about the incident in January 2011 to officers at Tayside Police.

The 47-year-old was a senior support officer at the force but has since resigned.

Ms Noble and her partner Paul Martin deny the fraud and a charge that they wasted police time.

The pair, from Dundee, are accused of lying to police based at the same station where Ms Noble worked, causing them to launch an investigation into the claim.

It is alleged they drove the Audi A3 Sport car from Silver Button Yard in Dundee to the city's Caird Park on 18 January 2011.

'False statements'

Prosecutors say they then attempted to burn the vehicle with the intent of destroying it, then pretended to police officers and insurance company staff that the car and its contents had been destroyed.

They are said to have claimed that the contents of the car included a watch, a sat-nav system and CDs, and they attempted to obtain money by fraud.

It is further alleged that between 18 January and 6 February they made false statements to PC Colin Anderson, PC Brian Whyte and Det Sgt Marcus Lorente that the car had been stolen.

Ms Noble and Mr Martin, 52, are accused of causing the officers to devote their time to investigating the false allegation, rendering the public open to suspicion and accusation of theft.

Mr Martin's lawyer, David Duncan, lodged papers during a hearing at Dundee Sheriff Court stating that his defence would incriminate Ms Noble in the crime.

Sheriff George Way postponed a previously set trial date until April - and excused the pair from attending a pre-trial hearing ahead of their case being heard.