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Police officers charged over 'assault' outside bar

Darren Guild and Martin Coyle accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Court: Alleged victim have evidence (file pic).
Court: Alleged victim have evidence (file pic). STV

Two police officers have gone on trial accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice after a man was allegedly assaulted outside a village bar.

Darren Guild, 29, and Martin Coyle, 28, were investigated by colleagues following an incident near the Mormond Inn in Strichen, Aberdeenshire.

Guild is also accused of assaulting James Milne and acting in a threatening and abusive manner by challenging him to a fight and seizing his mobile phone on August 8, 2015.

They were off duty and on a night out in the pub before the alleged offences happened.

Both men are accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice by handing other police officers investigating the incident shoes that were not worn on the night.

Giving evidence at Peterhead Sheriff Court on Thursday, Mr Milne said he was chased along a street then attacked at the end of the night.

He said he saw the two police officers standing on a bridge shortly beforehand.

Fiscal depute Sophie Hanson asked: "When did you next see Darren Guild?"

He replied: "When he was chasing me. He assaulted me. I fell to the ground by running. It was at the side of the road just about 200 metres away from the bridge."

Ms Hanson asked: "How did he assault you?"

He replied: "By kicking and punching me. All over my body, face, head. He was leaning over me trying to get my phone out of my hand as well."

Mr Milne said he was injured with a bleeding mouth and nose and bruising on his back.

Defence lawyer George Mathers accused Mr Milne of holding a grudge against Guild.

He suggested Mr Milne felt resentment against the police officer because he had asked him to move on from an area when he saw him in Peterhead a few weeks earlier.

Mr Mathers also told the court Mr Milne had a previous conviction for assault, along with other offences.

He asked: "You are a violent man are you not?"

He replied: "Not really, no."

Mr Mathers asked: "I'm suggesting you were drunk, you were angry, you were filled with hate against the police."

Mr Milne said: "I understand what you are saying but no."

The lawyer suggested the alleged victim had followed the two police officers but he denied this, insisting he was chased down the street.

Guild, from Fraserburgh, has lodged a special defence of self-defence.

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