South Scotland

Police inspector acquitted of wife abuse

The case against a police inspector who was accused of abusing his new bride has been dropped after his plea of not guilty was accepted by the court.

William Shields, who is 52 and from South Lanarkshire, was accused of shouting and swearing at wife Michelle at Green's Hotel in Gretna on Hogmanay.

Prosecutors accepted his plea, which came part way through a trial at Dumfries Sheriff Court.

Mr Shields has also been cleared of two other charges of assaulting his wife.

He had denied charges alleging that he dragged Michelle Shields off a stool in the lounge area of the hotel, pushed her on the back and caused her to stumble on the night of their wedding.

He was also cleared of pushing her onto a bed and striking her on the head as well as covering her mouth and nose with his hand.

The trial had been due to continue on the charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards Mrs Shields, but fiscal depute Jennifer McGill told the court: "I am accepting a plea of not guilty to that remaining charge."

The Strathclyde inspector was not present when the acquittal was announced.