Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Former police inspector Richard Munro jailed

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionRichard Munro was a detective with Fife Constabulary

A former policeman has been jailed for five years for withholding evidence from prosecutors while investigating a murder in Fife 17 years ago.

Richard Munro, 53, was found guilty last month of attempting to defeat the ends of justice, after a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

As a detective inspector he led the investigation into the killing of Andrew Forsyth in Dunfermline in 1995.

Steven Johnston and Billy Allison were jailed for murder then later acquitted.

Munro was sentenced at the High Court in Aberdeen.

Passing sentence, judge Lord Doherty said: "The course of conduct you engaged in was a shocking affront to the principles which underly the criminal justice process.

"Your offence was committed in a variety of ways over a considerable period. It was calculated and deceitful.

"You contributed substantially to the convictions of Johnston and Allison being miscarriages of justice."

He added: "You were in a position of trust. The criminal justice system depends upon police officers acting with honesty and integrity.

"In acting as you did you let yourself down, your police colleagues, the procurator fiscal, other representatives of the Crown, Mr Johnston and Mr Allison and their legal representatives and the court."

The Forsyth case saw Munro take charge of his first murder investigation.

At the time, two suspects emerged, Mr Johnston and Mr Allison who had been involved in a fight with Mr Forsyth on Friday 3 November, but claimed to have left him alive and well.

Mr Forsyth's body was found six days later, and prosecutors hung their case on the murder having been carried out on the Friday.

But it emerged crucial evidence was suppressed by Munro and kept hidden from both the crown and the defence.

Johnston and Allison were acquitted on appeal in 2006, subsequently Lothian and Borders police were instructed to investigate Munro.

The Crown Office has told the BBC the Forsyth case will be reviewed.

A Fife Constabulary spokesman said: "We note the sentence of Richard Munro, a retired police officer.

"The force will consider the full judgement of the court in detail when it is available."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites