MP accused of assaulting Yes voter walks free after ‘blunder’

A Labour MP charged with attacking a woman at a polling station on the day of the independence referendum has walked free – after an apparent blunder by prosecutors.

Marie Rimmer stood trial today at Glasgow Sheriff Court but the case was dismissed. Picture: John Devlin

Marie Rimmer had been accused of kicking Patricia McLeish outside Shettleston Community Centre in Glasgow’s Shettleston last 18 September.

The 68-year-old – who at the time was leader of St Helens council on Merseyside but who is now MP for the area – was supporting the Better Together campaign.

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She stood trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court accused of assault yesterday. But the case collapsed midway through Miss McLeish giving evidence after Sheriff Brian Adair noticed the word Glasgow had not been listed on the charge.

Marie Rimmer was elected MP for St Helens at the general election. Picture: Contributed

This led him to question whether there was the proper jurisdiction for the case to ­continue. Fiscal Adele McDonald asked for the trial to carry on, but Rimmer’s lawyer Liam Ewing claimed the charge was not permissible due to the 
error.

Sheriff Adair eventually decided to throw out the case against the MP, who first faced the allegation last October.

He told Rimmer the accusation was being dismissed due to lack of location in the charge.

Ms Rimmer made no comment as she left court.

Miss McLeish, a 51-year-old local government worker, who had been handing out leaflets for the Yes campaign at the time, had alleged: “She was facing me, came up into my face and she kicked me.

“She had invaded my personal space – I had never seen that before at a polling station. She kicked me on the left shin and smirked after she done this. It was determined.”

Ms Rimmer was elected an MP in May’s general election.READ MORE