A Dundee used car salesman has had the case against him dropped.
The sheriff presiding in the case said there was “unsatisfactory information” provided to him by prosecutors.
Proceedings against Charles Sandeman, and his company Glencross Motors, were dropped last month, nearly two years after a police raid on his Clepington Road premises, reports the Dundee Evening Telegraph.
The company had been accused of trading without a licence and failing to keep records.
In his judgement, Sheriff Alastair Brown said that vital information had not been presented before him by the procurator fiscal, and as such, “erring in favour of the liberty of” the accused, and in the interests of a fair trial, dropped the case.
Sheriff Brown also said there appeared to be “questionable compliance” by the police in submitting evidence to the procurator fiscal, in relation to the raid on Sandeman’s dealership.
He said that he found his position “unavoidable in view of the unsatisfactory information provided by the procurator fiscal”, adding: “My consideration has been handicapped by the gaps in what the procurator fiscal could tell me, which appear to be attributable to questionable compliance by the police.”
The sheriff questioned whether police had the powers to raid the car dealer in the first place.
Those representing Sandeman had claimed their visit in June 2014 was a “fishing trip”, and Sheriff Brown said: “It appears that there may have been a search warrant and that some of those who participated may have obtained entry on the basis of so far unspecified statutory regulatory or inspection powers.”
Sandeman told the Dundee paper he was angry at the way he’d been treated.
He said: “The decision made by the sheriff was the right one and I now feel vindicated. The court’s judgement is damning.”
He previously claimed police had been “looking for a crime that didn’t exist”.
“I haven’t got a clue why I was targeted by the police, but it was just a fishing expedition,” he said.
“I’ve not got any criminal convictions whatsoever.
“I’m just happy that the judge made the right decision. It’s now just a case of business as usual.”
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “We note the decision of the sheriff. It is not our interpretation that Sheriff Brown has expressed an opinion that the actions of the police were in any way unlawful.”
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service previously said that it noted the decision of the sheriff.
It declined to add anything to that statement following Sheriff Brown’s judgement.