Former Edinburgh top cop caught with mistress in back of Land Rover at city park-and-ride left 'humiliated'

A recently retired police chief who was caught engaging in sexual activity with his mistress in the back of his car has escaped being placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 3:24 pm
Updated Monday, 10th August 2020, 5:19 pm

Former Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair, 49, was spotted in a steamy clinch with the woman in broad daylight in the back of his car at a park and ride facility in Edinburgh last year.

Blair and the woman were both seen naked from the waist up in the back seat of the top police officer’s plush Land Rover Discovery Sport by two witnesses.

The witnesses said they noticed the half-naked couple were “engaging in sexual activity” when Blair’s vehicle began to rock back and forth.

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Former Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair.

The two men, who were in their own cars, then began to “woop and sound their horns” before one of them starting filming the daylight liaison on his mobile phone.

The incident was later reported to police and the former Chief Super, who retired from his position with Police Scotland earlier this year, was subsequently interviewed at a station in Motherwell, Lanarkshire.

Blair pleaded guilty to an amended charge of committing a breach of the peace by engaging in sexual activity within his car while in a state of partial undress when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.

Fined

Sheriff Adrian Cottam told Blair he had committed “a wholly inappropriate, inexplicable and reprehensible” act and decided to mark the offence by fining the retired officer £750.

But after taking a break and deliberating for around 15 minutes, the sheriff decided not to place Blair on the Sex Offenders Register stating in his view “the sexual act did not contain any sexual deviance”.

Sheriff Cottam said: “I do not find that the test outlined regards future public protection is met and I do not certify the offence as requiring the notification requirements to be imposed.

The sheriff also described the Blair’s offending as “criminal” and “morally and legally reprehensible”.

Co-accused Claire Makel, who did not attend court, had her not guilty pleas to the original offence accepted by the Crown.

Prosecutor Lorraine Almond told the court witnesses spotted Blair’s Land Rover Discovery parked next to a BMW at the Hermiston park and ride facility at around 5.20pm on April 16 last year.

The two men saw Blair, from Edinburgh, in the back seat with the woman “straddling him” and the pair were “undressed from the waist up”.

Ms Almond said: “The Land Rover was moving and the witnesses saw the couple were engaging in sexual activity within.

“Both witnesses and others began to woop and sound their horns. The activity continued within the car and after some time [one witness] began to film the incident on his mobile phone.”

The fiscal added Blair was then seen to hang a piece of clothing over the window of the vehicle and “the activity was continuing”.

Ms Almond said the woman was spotted leaving the Land Rover at around 7pm and she got into the BMW and drove off. Blair then got into the driver’s seat of his vehicle and also left the scene soon after.

The incident was later reported to police and Blair was interviewed at Motherwell police station on June 3 last year.

‘Humiliating’

Solicitor Callum Anderson, defending, said his client had found the court appearance and subsequent media attention as “humiliating and difficult” and argued Blair had already suffered “severe consequences” for his actions.

Mr Anderson added the publicity had affected Blair’s attempts to gain employment since retiring from the force and the offer of a job as a money laundering inspector had been withdrawn following the revelations.

Blair pleaded guilty to conducting himself in a disorderly manner by engaging in sexual activity while in a state of partial undress within a motor vehicle in daylight hours and committing a breach of the peace at Hermiston park and ride, Edinburgh, on April 16 last year.

Twice-married Blair was previously head of Scotland’s elite crime squad at Gartcosh Crime Campus in Lanarkshire. He has also served on secondment in Northern Ireland.

He was made the Capital’s Divisional Commander in June 2018 but was suspended from the position and replaced by Sean Scott last year following his arrest.

A biography on the Police Scotland website stated the father-of-one was a fitness fan who loves golf and holidays.

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