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I spy with my little eye some cop being punished for losing vital evidence. Nope.. still can't see it happening; NO DISCIPLINARY HEARING FOR BLUNDER OFFICERFury after lost disc turns up in locker.

Byline: Mark Aitken Political Editor

A police officer who lost key evidence in an investigation into illegal spying on Sunday Mail sources is not facing disciplinary action.

A disc containing CCTV footage was found by a Police Scotland officer from the force's controversial Counter Corruption Unit (CCU) while "clearing their personal locker".

The CCU obtained the images as part of a molehunt after we revealed a forgotten suspect in the Emma Caldwell murder inquiry 11 years ago.

The footage showed a serving officer and retired policemen they wrongly believed were linked to the leaking of confidential police records meeting in a coffee shop.

Derek Penman, HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, said in a damning report in June that Police Scotland should investigate the circumstances which led to the loss of CCTV footage.

expertise Gallacher, above.

Victim Emma Two weeks ago, the disc was found in an officer's locker, Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has confirmed in a letter to Holyrood's justice committee.

And Chief Superintendent Alan Speirs yesterday said: "We cannot confirm or deny the name of the officer involved.

"However, we can confirm that a disciplinary hearing has not been held at this stage and that the circumstances will form part of the independent inquiry by Durham Constabulary."

Durham chief constable Mike Barton is heading an independent investigation into Police Scotland unlawfully hunting for Sunday Mail sources.

Former detective Gerry Gallacher, whose work reinvestigating the inquiry into Emma's murder in 2005 uncovered a forgotten suspect, had 100 days of data communications targeted without proper authority.

Last month, the force were ordered by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal to pay him PS10,000 damages.

He said yesterday: "One of the first lectures to new recruits at the Scottish Police College involves chain of evidence procedures.

"If the chain isn't properly adhered to, it can lead to allegations of corruption, the collapse of a trial, the sacking of an officer.

"Losing or mislaying potential evidence would rank among a police officer's worst nightmares.

"Any officer faced with that situation would, almost literally, ransack their desk, their lockers, the relevant police office to locate the item in question.

"In this case, however, an item sought by no less than HMICS, but unable to be located, is discovered when an officer is 'cleaning out his locker'. " Livingstone said in a letter to the justice committee that a CCU officer "was closing their personal locker when they discovered the missing CCTV disc among the items within".

He said: "The content has been viewed by senior managers from the CCU who confirm it is the missing disc, which has now been lodged as a production in line with Police Scotland procedures."

Meanwhile, Chief Constable Phil Gormley is facing fresh questions about a senior officer misleading Holyrood about a hunt for our sources. Neil Richardson, then a deputy chief constable, told the justice committee that publishing the information could have hindered a "live" murder inquiry.

But HMICS later found there was no live inquiry or major investigation team established at the time.

Committee convener Margaret Mitchell has asked Gormley in a letter if he agreed Richardson was inaccurate and if "corrective action" was being taken.

She also wants to how many criminal complaints and allegations of misconduct have been made against the CCU. Claims of a bullying culture and allegations of trumped up charges have been made against the CCU. Lawyer Aamer Anwar called them a "rogue unit operating beyond the law".

Losing or mislaying potential evidence would rank among a police officer's worst nightmares

CAPTION(S):

PRESSURE . Phil Gormley. Above, our stories on Emma's murder and the police probe Picture David Johnstone

expertise Gallacher, above. Victim Emma
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 11, 2016
Words:612
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