Glasgow & West Scotland

Labour MP Marie Rimmer referendum assault case is dismissed

Marie Rimmer

The trial of a Labour MP accused of kicking a "Yes" campaigner on the day of the Scottish independence referendum has collapsed after a legal error.

Marie Rimmer was accused of kicking Patricia McLeish outside a Glasgow polling station on 18 September.

But the trial was halted because the word "Glasgow" had not been listed on the charge.

The MP for St Helens South and Whiston made no comment as she left Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The Crown Office have confirmed they intend re-raising the case on Tuesday.

The 68-year-old former St Helens Council leader was a prospective parliamentary candidate when she travelled to Scotland to support the Better Together campaign.

Miss McLeish, a 51-year-old local government worker, had earlier told the trial she had been handing out leaflets outside the polling station at Shettleston Community Centre.

The witness claimed the MP had confronted her and initially demanded to know what Miss McLeish worked as.

'Personal space'

Miss McLeish said she ignored her but she came back up to her again quite angry.

Miss McLeish then 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.

"I remember saying this was a disgrace. I could not believe an older woman would do that to another woman."

The witness said she thought Ms Rimmer had mental health problems and initially had not wanted to report the matter to police.

But officers later took a statement that led to her being arrested. It is believed Ms Rimmer spent up to eight hours in a police cells after being held.

It was during Ms McLeish's evidence that the sheriff noticed the word Glasgow had not been listed on the charge.

Prosecutors asked for the trial to continue but, after representations from Ms Rimmer's lawyer, the sheriff dismissed the case.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "We note the decision of the court to dismiss the case.

"We intend re-raising the case tomorrow."

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