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Former Shetland police officer admits repeated attempts to have evidence of assault destroyed

Robert Veighey
Robert Veighey

A former Shetland police officer has admitted repeatedly attempting to have evidence of an assault on a young girl destroyed.

Robert Veighey pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice minutes before a trial into the allegations was due to begin at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday.

The ex-cop, of Kirkpark in Scalloway, tried to have another man destroy a mobile phone which contained text messages relating to the assault.

The phone belonged to India Lockyer, who later in proceedings admitted she was guilty of attacking the child.

Veighey, 57, admitted he had repeatedly encouraged the man, Kyle Swannie, to destroy the evidence-containing phone on January 25 last year and that it was in an attempt to assist Lockyer in avoiding prosecution, in the knowledge police were investigating the assault, which happened between five and seven days earlier.

His denial of another charge – attempting to defeat the ends of justice – was accepted by the Crown.

Fiscal depute Colin Neilson had earlier rejected Lockyer’s guilty plea to a charge of assaulting the youngster by repeatedly striking and biting her head and biting and scratching her body to her injury.

The Crown had also wanted to pursue further allegations that 26-year-old Lockyer, of Marthastoon, Aith, had assaulted the youngster.

But after difficulty in securing information from Kyle Swannie, who claimed he “could not remember” anything about the early part of last year on account of heavy drug use, the prosecutor accepted the earlier guilty plea without the extra allegations.

The jury was sent out of the court room twice while Mr Neilson, defence advocate Craig Findlater and Sheriff Philip Mann tried to reason with 23-year-old Swannie – before Mr Neilson gave up questioning him.

Both Veighey and Lockyer will appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing next month.

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