Sheriff slates Crown over officer’s trial

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A SHERIFF has slammed the Crown Prosecution Service for being “dilatory” over charges facing a police officer.

David Purves, 46, who serves with Central Scotland Police, was originally accused of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards his estranged wife Julie on two occasions last November.

He denies putting his wife and their daughter in a state of fear and alarm by repeatedly demanding entry to the matrimonial home in Linlithgow, West Lothian.

Sheriff Graeme Fleming QC yesterday questioned why the prosecution was trying to change the wording of the charge on the trial’s third day.

As a result of evidence at Livingston Sheriff Court last week, prosecutor Catherine Knowles yesterday moved to amend the wording from “two occasions” to “various occasions”.

Stuart Peebles, defending, opposed the move, claiming it “changed the character of the offence”.

Sheriff Fleming said: “The Crown have been somewhat dilatory in seeking the amendment, given that the information was in the original police reports.”