Anti-terror policeman stands trial for assault

The offences are alleged to have been committed at the Bonnybridge Social Club. Picture: Google
The offences are alleged to have been committed at the Bonnybridge Social Club. Picture: Google
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A SENIOR anti-terrorist policeman to face trial next month accused of assaulting three people, including a junior officer, at a social club.

Detective Chief Inspector Hugh Bleakley, head of operations for Police Scotland’s counter-terrorism unit, faces five charges - three of assault, including one on a police officer; a fourth of using threatening and abusive behaviour; and a fifth of resisting police.

The offences are alleged to have been committed at the Bonnybridge Social Club, in Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire, on the night of the February 21/22 this year.

It is alleged that Bleakley, 51, from East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, assaulted James Craig - understood to be his partner’s son - by punching him on the head, andanother man, Thomas Tolmie, by striking him on the head with his elbow.

He is further accused of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner at the club and “en route to and from Falkirk Police Office”, in that he did shout, swear, utter offensive remarks, repeatedly push others on the body, utter threats of violence, struggle with police officers in attendance, and refuse to desist when requested to do so.

The senior policeman, who was excused from appearing in person at a preliminary hearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court, is also accused of assaulting a police constable Alan Musgrave by punching him on the head and body - contrary to the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.

It is further alleged that he “resisted, obstructed or hindered” PC Musgrave and another constable, Gavin McCrae, struggled with them, and refused to desist when requested to so.

Defence agent Simon Hutchison told the court that Bleakely continued to deny all the charges.

Sheriff John Mundy set trial for October 21st after a further preliminary hearing on October 7th, from which Bleakley’s attendance is also excused.

It was reported at the time of the alleged incidents that the gathering at the social club was being held to mark Mr Craig’s engagement to his 26-year-old girlfriend, Nicola Eddie.