Lying police office jailed for 73 days

A LOTHIAN police officer who admitted giving false evidence in court has been jailed for 73 days.

Livingston-based Sundeep Patel, 29, said he had been under pressure because of bullying and racial abuse when he lied under oath during an assault trial in Linlithgow in 2004.

After pleading guilty to perjury last month, Patel alleged there was a culture of racist bullying in the force.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sheriff John Horsburgh, QC, told him today: "For a police officer to commit perjury is unacceptable and a custodial sentence is the only appropriate one. The appropriate level is the maximum on a summary complaint - three months - but I am obliged to give you a discount because of the plea tendered. You are sentenced to 73 days from today".

The court heard Patel, who now lives in Ilford, Essex, joined the force in March 2002 and was posted to Bathgate in July. In January 2004, police were called to an alleged assault by a man on a woman. The man was arrested and Patel, as the reporting officer, took notes of the interview in his notebook.

Fiscal Malcolm Stewart told the court last month that it was clear from the notebook that the accused man, in reply to questions, claimed he had been acting in self-defence. However by the time the report was submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in Linlithgow the replies had been altered to exclude the claims.

While Constable Patel was giving evidence, his notebook was produced, and, said Mr Stewart, it became apparent there were significant differences between what was in the notebook and what was in the transcript of the police interview. The trial was adjourned and it was decided to proceed no further with it. The accused man was found not guilty

Mr Stewart gave examples of the changes that had been made. In the transcript, Patel asked the man if he had assaulted the woman. The answer was: "I hit her on the face", while the true reply was: "I never touched her". Asked why he had hit the woman, the transcript showed the man replying: "Because she was being boring", when the true reply was: "Because she went to stab me and hit me with the frying pan".

Defence agent, Aamer Anwar claimed previously that his client had been the subject of bullying and racial abuse since joining the police force.

Patel, said his solicitor, had been under extreme pressure and felt if he removed the issue of self-defence, he would be able to "deal with the matter later".