Tayside and Central Scotland

'Understaffed' police delays see Dundee trial abandoned

A sheriff has thrown out a case against an alleged shoplifter because "understaffed" police could not produce CCTV evidence inside eight months.

Sheriff Alastair Brown criticised Police Scotland after prosecutors were unable to produce video evidence against Jack Cook, who was charged with shoplifting in January.

Cook's original trial at Dundee Sheriff Court in April was also pushed back.

Police Scotland apologised, blaming "an administrative error".

Depute Fiscal Charmaine Gilmartin told the court CCTV evidence was unavailable as "sick leave" within the department that produces CCTV DVDs for court had left the force "understaffed".

Deserting the case, Sheriff Brown hit out at the delays, saying: "Staffing difficulties in an organisation the size of Police Scotland is not an adequate explanation."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Police Scotland are very disappointed this incident has occurred due to an administrative error and apologises."

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