Tuesday 6 July 2021

Did The COPFS Go Easy On One Of Their Own?

Anyone who has sat in the public gallery of a court in Scotland and watched even just a handful of trials will be more than aware that Procurator Fiscals rely on Police Scotland officers to take the stand as witnesses to help them get successful prosecutions. 

If you've seen as many cases as I have you'll also know that every day trials collapse because the police go in to the witness stand and blatantly lie about what happened.

So do these police liars ever get held to account?


The Sheriff dismisses the case, then they all shuffle their papers and move on to the next case.

It is an accepted part of our justice system in Scotland that the police will regularly lie under oath to help the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service prosecute innocent members of the public, no one blinks an eye about it.

The question is whether the COPFS then feel they owe a debt of gratitude to their best buddies in Police Scotland when the shoe is on the other foot and it's a police officer who is in the dock?

In other words, do the COPFS go easy when it's "one of their own"?

PC Fraser Ross Ross recently resigned from Police Scotland in disgrace after being convicted of four domestic abuse charges. He regularly physically and mentally abused his girlfriend during a 6 year period. He beat her up repeatedly, kneeing her, hitting her, and suffocating her. He head-butted and strangled her, called her pathetic, paranoid, insecure, and a bitch. He even threatened to push her "down the f*cking stairs". What a charmer.

Many members of the Scottish public who have had dealings with untrustworthy Police Scotland will have come across aggressive and arrogant coppers like PC Fraser Ross.

His poor girlfriend, the recipient of his abuse, has a heart condition and was absolutely terrified of him.

PC Fraser Ross plead not guilty. 

But his ex-girlfriend had made secret recordings of the abuse. 

He was found guilty by Sheriff Ross MacFarlane.

So was justice done?

I don't believe so, and neither does Sheriff MacFarlane.

The good Sheriff said PC Fraser Ross' crimes were "appalling" and "inexcusable" for someone serving as an officer with Police Scotland. 

Sheriff MacFarlane also went on to vent his frustration that PC Ross would likely be out after 6 months. The Sheriff said:

"I take the view you [Ross] need to be under the purview of the court for a longer period than that. This case deserves a prison sentence, but I have to take everything into account."

What the Sheriff was referring to here was the COPFS opting to try Ross on the lesser summary procedure rather on the more serious solemn procedure. 

You see, if the COPFS had opted for solemn procedure Ross would have gone on trial before a jury and could have been jailed for up to five years for his crimes. 

But the COPFS didn't do this. 

Instead, they opted for the lesser summary procedure.

In the Sheriffs view, by doing this the COPFS had effectively blocked Sheriff Macfarlane from giving Ross the heavier sentence he deserved.

Which, of course, begs the question, did the COPFS go easy on one of their own?

The COPFS say no.

As the famous riposte goes "they would say that, wouldn't they"...