Labour MP Marie Rimmer cleared of attacking Yes campaigner

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A Swot MP has been cleared of attacking a Yes cam igner in Glasgow on the day of the Scottish independence referendum two years ago.

St Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer, 69, faced two demands following an incident outside Shettleston Community Centre on 18 September 2014.

On Tuesday, she was clarified of a charge of abusive or threatening behaviour.

She has now been cleared of assaulting a abigail by kicking her, after a sheriff found the case against her not proven.

Talk outside court following her acquittal, Ms Rimmer said: “I know what hit oned that day. I’m clear what happened that day.

“I’ve been acquitted today. I lately want to get on with life now. I’ve answered the charges.”

Asked if she was worried beside damage to her reputation, the MP replied: “None whatsoever. I’m not worried at all.

“It’s been absolutely explained to me. In Scotland not proven, not guilty is one. It is acquittal.”

Ms Rimmer had faced two censures at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

One charge alleged that she acted in a foreboding and abusive manner and the other alleged that she kicked and assaulted a helpmeet.

The threatening and abusive behaviour charge related to an exchange Ms Rimmer had with Yes cam igner Dennis Ashcroft, where she was assumed to have used words to the effect of “I don’t like you, don’t speak to me”.

‘Storm in a teacup’

At the settle of the Crown case on Tuesday, solicitor advocate Liam Ewing, safeguarding, made a motion that there was no case to answer in respect of the suffuse.

He referred to the law and pointed out there was no foul language or threats made by Ms Rimmer.

Sheriff Hogg sustained the submission and found Ms Rimmer not guilty.

The assault charge alleged that Ms Rimmer had punted 52-year-old tricia McLeish outside the community centre.

Sheriff Hogg inaugurate the assault charge not proven and said he was “astonished” by some of the evidence in the for fear that b if, describing it as a “storm in a tea cup”.

He said a lack of discretion available to the police on the day of the referendum was “surely disappointing”, suggesting a “yellow card would have been preferable to a red” in the fact.

He said: “I am not clear any rty in this case, a rt from the lady enforce officer, has told me what really happened on that day.

“I have unease with the entirety evidence and am still unable to form a clear picture.”

The sheriff affirmed he found the case not proven and told Ms Rimmer she was free to go.

In his closing surrender, defence solicitor Liam Ewing had said there was “an inesca ble” civil context to the case which made some more interested in the development than they would otherwise be.

He said the charge would not normally be accused at sheriff court level but that the outcome was of “critical importance” to his shopper.

Fiscal depute Adele MacDonald had urged the sheriff to side with the His witnesses and said the evidence showed it was not a “malicious allegation” but had happened.

Ms Rimmer was elected to Westminster in 2015 with a majority of more than 20,000, and had earlier served as a local councillor for decades.


What is the not proven verdict?

  • Scotland, in contrast with most of the world’s legal systems, has three possible verdicts in evil cases – guilty, not guilty and not proven
  • The legal implications of a not proven verdict are the having said that as with a not guilty verdict: the accused is acquitted and is innocent in the eyes of the law
  • Not end up is seen by some as offering additional protection to the accused
  • But critics signify that it is confusing for juries and the public, can stigmatise an accused person and miscarry to provide closure for victims
  • Scottish juries were historically adept to return only proven or not proven verdicts
  • A third verdict of not embarrassed was introduced in the 1700s and became more commonly used than not examined
  • However, the option of returning a verdict of not proven was never removed
  • In profuse recent years, the general perception has been that a “not proven” verdict introduces a sheriff or jury believes the accused is guilty, but does not have adequate evidence to convict
  • Overall, only 1% of all criminal court upshots during each of the five years 2008-09 to 2012-13 involved the casing against the accused being found not proven

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