A FORMER soldier who was the second-in-command of Edinburgh’s biggest ever cocaine gang has been cleared of attacking a nightclub worker with a bottle.
David Togher was acquitted on the second day of his trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, where he was accused of an assault at the Castle Club venue.
The alleged victim, Elliot Buendia-Diaz, had picked out Togher as his attacker while giving evidence on Thursday, adding that he was “95 per cent sure” of identifying the right man.
But under cross-examination yesterday, the 21-year-old changed his mind, adding: “He is not the man who hit me”.
The charge of striking Mr Buendia-Diaz with a bottle to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement was then withdrawn against 27-year-old Togher.
Togher was jailed for five years and three months in February 2010 for managing a team who flooded the Capital with cocaine. The former soldier, who served in Iraq with the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots, was the chief lieutenant of gang leader Mark Richardson.
Together they controlled much of the city’s cocaine supply, and the Inch-based gang was linked to a series of shootings as part of a feud with rival gangsters.
In August 2010, Richardson was jailed for ten years after being caught working at a makeshift factory in Ferniehill turning out £300,000 of crack cocaine. His sentence was later cut to six years and nine months on appeal.
Togher was charged with attacking Mr Buendia-Diaz, who was running a hip-hop night at the Queensferry Street Lane club on December 16 last year. Mr Buendia-Diaz said he had intervened in an argument between his female friend and an unknown man.
The jury was shown CCTV footage from inside the club which showed a man violently striking Mr Buendia-Diaz with the bottle. He suffered cuts to his lip and eyelid, and is scarred for life.
But under questioning from Togher’s solicitor Nigel Beaumont, Mr Buendia-Diaz said he had identified the wrong man.
The witness was then asked by depute fiscal Susan Dickson: “Why now do you feel he’s not the person who hit you in the face with a bottle?”
Mr Buendia-Diaz replied: “I feel he’s not the person who hit me.”