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Pc overturns 'abuse' conviction

image captionPc Wardrop challenged his conviction at the Court of Justiciary Appeal

A policeman has had a breach of the peace conviction overturned after a recent appeal ruling that the offence could not be committed in private.

Pc John Wardrop, 45, from Ardrossan, was fined £400 over calls and text messages to his estranged wife, Mary.

When he challenged the decision before appeal judges in Edinburgh, the Crown withdrew support of the conviction.

This was because his alleged victim had received the abusive calls and texts in private.

A trial at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard how Pc Wardrop, who works for Strathclyde Police, suspected his wife of seeing someone else after they split up.

It is alleged that in March last year, he sent text and phone messages threatening his wife and any man she was seeing.

After turning her phone off overnight, Mary Wardrop was said to have found 32 missed calls when she switched the mobile on again.

The trial heard that Mrs Wardrop was in the toilet of a restaurant when some of the messages came through.

Pc Wardrop's lawyers asked Sheriff Brian Murphy to throw out the case because there had been no-one else present.

The Sheriff refused and found the policeman guilty of a breach of the peace by repeatedly phoning and sending text messages, shouting and swearing and placing his estranged wife in a state of fear and alarm.

Pc Wardrop's counsel, Shelagh McColl, then took the argument to the Court of Justiciary Appeal.

With legal argument set to begin, advocate depute Jonathan Brodie QC told Lady Paton, sitting with Lords Carloway and Mackay of Drumadoon: "The Crown does not now defend or support the conviction."