Court conviction for 'lazy' Constable Michele Selby

  • Published
Michele Selby
Image caption,
Selby could face a custodial sentence

A police officer who "could not be bothered" to arrest a suspected robber has been found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Constable Michele Selby confiscated tools from a man who claimed to be fixing the door of a restaurant in Kirkintilloch at 0530 BST last July.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard she let the man go as she had to deliver letters to another police station.

Sentencing on Selby was deferred until next month for background reports.

The court heard from Strathclyde Police Constable Michelle Maley, 23, who was on duty with 38-year-old Selby on the morning of 26 July last year.

Background check

Pc Maley said she brought her colleague's attention to the man at the door of the Chinese restaurant and they went to speak with him.

The officer said she spotted a red-handled screwdriver, crowbar and wrench and that the man looked as though he was trying to break into the restaurant.

She said Selby, who is from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, took his details and did a background check then spoke to him again.

Pc Maley said: "She told him, 'We know you are trying to break in and if we didn't have another call to go to you would be getting the jail'."

Prosecutor Andrew Beadsworth asked the witness: "What, if anything was said after that?"

She answered: "She said we would be taking the tools from him."

The court was told that they returned to the police car and the man walked away.

Mr Beadsworth asked: "Did you speak to her about what had happened?"

Mail delivery

The officer replied: "When we got in the car she said if she could be bothered he would have got the jail, or words to that effect."

The court heard the young officer then asked Selby what the job was they were going to and was told it was delivering mail.

She also said Selby then put the tools in the bin once they got back to the police station.

Pc Maley told the court she did not feel confident enough to challenge Selby's decision to let the man go or to bin the tools, but later flagged it up.

In her evidence, Selby claimed she did not see a crowbar or wrench at the door of the restaurant, only screwdrivers, a hammer and a box of nails.

She told the court: "I didn't believe a crime had been committed."

Defence lawyer Callum Anderson asked Selby: "What was your purpose in asking the male to give you the tools?"

She answered: "To see what his answer would be but he was freely saying I could take the tools."

Selby added: "I made a mistake, it wasn't intentional, it wasn't wilful, it wasn't evil.

"I didn't start my shift and say I'm going to defeat the ends of justice today."

The court heard that the suspected robber has six previous convictions, including one for a similar offence.

Sheriff Richard Clark told Selby: "Given the nature of the offence the imposition of a custodial sentence is a disposal for consideration."

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