Ex Rangers administrator seeks to have £9m lawsuit ruling without evidence being heard

A former Rangers administrator who is suing Scotland's senior police officer is seeking to have a court rule in his favour without evidence being heard.

A former Rangers administrator is suing Scotland's senior police official. Picture: John Devlin
A former Rangers administrator is suing Scotland's senior police official. Picture: John Devlin

David Whitehouse has raised a £9 million action against Chief Constable Philip Gormley and senior law officer Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, who are contesting his claim.

Mr Whitehouse (52) alleges that his detention and arrest by detectives investigating Craig Whyte’s takeover of the Ibrox club in 2011 were wrongful and damage was inflicted on his professional reputation.

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His lawyers are now seeking summary decree in the action against the Chief Constable at the Court of Session in Edinburgh maintaining there are no relevant defences set out.

Heriot Currie QC, for Mr Whitehouse, told the court: “In my submission at all stages the police case fails.”

“If you deprive someone of his liberty unlawfully that is a civil wrong,” he told judge Lord Malcolm.

Mr Currie argued that detaining officers did not have reasonable grounds for suspecting that Mr Whitehouse had committed an offence.

He said it was clear on legal authority that if the statutory conditions were not satisfied then a subsequent arrest was unlawful.

The Chief Constable is defending the action and his counsel, Maria Maguire QC, said it would be argued that there was a requirement to establish that officers acted maliciously.

Mr Whitehouse, from Cheshire, and his colleague Paul Clark were appointed joint administrators of Rangers in 2012 following the sale of the club to Craig Whyte by Sir David Murray.

The pair were later arrested but charges against them were later dropped or thrown out. Mr Whyte later stood trial but was acquitted at the High Court in Glasgow.

The club later entered liquidation and was subsequently sold to a consortium led by Charles Green.

In the action brought by Mr Whitehouse it is said that officers from Police Scotland attended at the premises of his employers Duff & Phelps in August 2013 with search warrants and seized a large quantity of material, some of which was privileged and was beyond the scope of the warrant.

Mr Whitehouse was detained in November 14 in 2014 and taken to a Glasgow police station and held in custody until he appeared at the city’s sheriff court three days later.

It is said on his behalf: “Throughout the period of detention there were at no point any reasonable grounds to suspect the pursuer had committed an offence. The detention was in any event unnecessary. There was insufficient evidence to justify a charge.”

It is maintained that there was no basis for any suspicion that he had engaged in criminal activity. he was detained at his home on a further occasion.

It is alleged that the detention and subsequent prosecution of Mr Whitehouse was an interference with his human rights and that he suffered “significant reputational loss” and his finances were damaged.

It is contended that the Chief Constable having infringed his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights through unlawful detentions and arrests, causing him to suffer loss, injury and damage, he is entitled to damages.

The Chief Constable disputes that his rights were infringed and maintains he is under no obligation to make reparation to Mr Whitehouse.

The hearing continues.