A police officer has dodged a jail term after admitting lying and falsifying evidence.
Graeme McEwan has been ordered to carry out unpaid work after “cutting corners” when tasked with investigating a minor bus crash at Aberdeen International Airport.
The 49-year-old failed to interview the person who reported the collision or the driver of the vehicle that was involved in the crash.
McEwan went on to falsely claim in a police report that he had asked the suspect to identify the driver at the time of the crash – then fabricated his reply. He also falsely stated he had cautioned and charged the suspect and administered a warning.
Fiscal depute Lynzi Souter told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that in response to queries from the Procurator Fiscal, McEwan stated there had been “errors in the case” and the driver had in fact not been traced.
Defence agent Paul Barnett said the “overwhelming” likelihood would be his client would lose his job, two years before he was due to get his pension.
He said this would have a “damaging effect on him and his family”.
He added McEwan had a history of depression and had suffered bereavement around the time of the offence.
Mr Barnett said: “At the time Mr McEwan accepts he was struggling to keep on top of his work as a result of the depression and in general terms was struggling to cope.
“What we don’t have here is a situation where Mr McEwan is fabricating evidence to try and set someone up, try and stitch up an innocent man. It’s a situation where he was struggling to cope at work and is cutting corners which is a much less sinister situation.”
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McEwan, whose address was given as Police Scotland, Bucksburn, previously pled guilty to neglecting and violating his duties between May 18 and September 28 2016.
Sheriff Kevin Duffy said the initial crash had been minor but “the whole thing has mushroomed by your own negligence and the way you have handled the matter”. He gave him 180 hours of unpaid work as an alternative to a custodial sentence.
Following yesterday’s hearing, Chief Inspector Derek Hiley said: “We note the outcome of this case. A report on the full circumstances will be made to the Deputy Chief Constable for consideration.”