Milligan demands police explanation after 2-month case

Councillor Derek Milligan
Councillor Derek Milligan
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A LOTHIAN council leader is demanding answers from the police after assault charges against him were dropped by the procurator fiscal.

Midlothian Council leader Derek Milligan had been accused of punching 40-year-old Alan Scott during an argument in the Bonnyrigg Rose Social Club, leading to Mr Scott being taken to hospital with a head wound.

But he said his solicitor has now been sent a letter by the procurator fiscal saying that no proceedings would be taken in the case due to a lack of evidence.

Councillor Milligan, 51, is now demanding to know why he was arrested and charged if, following a two-month investigation by Lothian and Borders Police, there was not enough evidence to warrant a court hearing.

He is also asking why the police initially told him that he would not be charged with any crime following his first interview.

The Labour councillor, who represents the Bonnyrigg area, had always denied the charges, saying Mr Scott had fallen because he was a “drunken idiot” that had been on “an all-day drinking session”.

Now he plans to pursue the matter with the police. When asked if he would be submitting a formal complaint over their handling of the case, Cllr Milligan said: “I shall certainly be asking the chief constable questions as to who is responsible for all this, as there has to have been interference.

“In a letter to my solicitor, they said they have now considered the report by police and do not consider there is sufficient evidence to allow the complaint to proceed.

“This has happened within 14 days of me being charged and I understand the decision was taken within a day of the procurator fiscal seeing the report.

“Some questions need to be asked of Lothian and Borders Police. I cannot comprehend how ten officers were working on this case for two months, then, within the first turn of it being with the procurator fiscal, he has said no further proceedings. To me, there is something not right there.

“Everybody keeps saying I must be very happy now, but I’m not. I am thoroughly angry that my name has been dragged through the mud again.

“I think the police have a lot to explain. I want to know who was responsible, who took the decision to go ahead with this. It’s just unbelievable.”

Police had been told by the alleged victim that he had been playing pool with a friend at the social club on July 24 before an argument broke out that led to him being “punched in the face” by Cllr Milligan.

Mr Scott said he was unaware the charges had been dropped and declined to comment further.