A high ranking anti-terror police officer walked free from court despite admitting he struck a constable during an encounter in Bonnybridge.
Hugh Bleakley (52), a detective chief inspector in Police Scotland’s organised crime and counter terrorism unit, got drunk at an event in Bonnybridge Social Club and, in the aftermath of a disturbance at the premises, hid in a bush when local police officers arrived to deal with the incident.
When officers attempted to speak to him and then detain him, Bleakley lashed out and hit one of them three times.
Appearing for sentence at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Bleakley previously pled guilty to the assault he committed outside the club on February 21/22 this year.
Lene Doherty, defending, said there was a “tragic and troubling background” to the case because Bleakley had suffered the death of his child almost exactly a year before the incident at the social club and had been diagnosed with a depressive disorder.
Sheriff Christopher Stead said: “Having regard to all the circumstances, the court has reached the view that it is appropriate not to proceed to conviction.”
Bleakley, of East Kilbride, received an absolute discharge, but his future with the police will be decided at a disciplinary hearing.