Police blunder as wrong man locked up for 4 hours

Scott Watson was taken to St Leonard's police station in handcuffs.  Picture: Toby Williams
Scott Watson was taken to St Leonard's police station in handcuffs. Picture: Toby Williams
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A father-of-two has been left “humiliated” after being arrested and thrown in a cell for four hours in a bizarre case of mistaken identity.

Scott Watson, 41, had just got his children ready for school when police swooped on his Oxgangs home with a warrant for his arrest.

But despite protesting his innocence, officers insisted he was wanted for failing to turn up at court last month before taking him in handcuffs to St Leonard’s police station.

After more than four hours in a “claustrophobic” cell, red-faced custody officers sheepishly returned to apologise for a blunder thought to have originated at the Crown Office.

It is understood the arrest happened following a mix-up with court papers which resulted in a warrant being wrongly issued.

The full-time musician, whose details were in the system due to an earlier court appearance, was then forced to spend £10 on a taxi home after police failed to offer him a lift.

Today, Mr Watson – the lead singer of popular Edinburgh band The Jackals – insisted he will seek legal advice to determine whether to sue the Crown Office for compensation. He said: “I was in my pyjamas and had just got my kids off to school.

“My wife was taking the washing out, and when she came back there were two policemen there and I had to explain I was being arrested.

“We were both mortified. I kept telling them I was completely innocent, but they said they had checked and insisted it was me they were after for a non-appearance at court.

“I was thinking ‘this can‘t be happening’ but they let me get dressed then put handcuffs on me and took me to St Leonard’s police station.”

Once inside the custody suite, Mr Watson was searched and had to pose for a mugshot picture before being led into an 8ft by 6ft holding cell. “I was in there for hours,” he said. “I didn’t have any breakfast and they didn’t get me anything but a mug of water so I was starving. I just kept telling them ‘I’m innocent, you’ve got the wrong man.’

“But they just replied ‘mate, everyone in here is innocent’.”

Mr Watson was released more than four hours after he was arrested, with police having to contact a sheriff to get the warrant lifted.

But the musician said he was “raging” about the blunder.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police officers executing an arrest warrant at a property in Oxgangs Road acted on information from the Crown Office, in good faith.”