Police officer spared jail after attack on woman at farm

A SERVING police officer was spared jail after admitting he attacked a woman in a fit of rage at a farm.

Sergeant Steven Campbell walked free from court yesterday after he was convicted of grabbing the woman by her coat and throwing her against a tractor "in a moment of temper" at Baads Farm in Shotts, Lanarkshire.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Campbell, 40, of Hamilton was fined 300 for the assault.

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The police officer, who has 22 years' service, was originally charged with rape and attempted murder, but he was cleared of those charges at an earlier hearing. The attack happened between January 2005 and December 2006.

Campbell, a former firearms instructor with Strathclyde Police, was also fined a further 450 for the illegal possession of ammunition after four bullets were found at his house. He pleaded guilty to having ammunition at an earlier hearing.

The court heard how Campbell was a reliable officer who was dedicated to the service of the public. His lawyer, Paul McBride QC, told the court Campbell, who begun his policing career in 1988, had enjoyed an "unblemished" service record and had never been subject to any disciplinary proceedings by police.

Sentencing him, Lord Woolman said he would not treat the case lightly: "With regard to the assault, a physical attack on another person is always a matter of concern. It will not be treated lightly by the court. But this case is at the lower end of the range. You did not strike her, or attempt to strike her. Nor was she injured as a result of the assault.

"Two bullets were found at the farm, for which you did not have a firearms certificate or appropriate authority. I accept that the bullets may have been acquired in the course of your work, that they may have been there for some time and that there were no weapons at the property which could have fired them."