Monday, May 04, 2009

Legal Aid Chief Douglas Haggarty charged with soliciting rent boy in Glasgow shopping centre

The head of Legal Services for the Scottish Legal Aid Board, Douglas Haggarty, has been charged with soliciting a boy prostitute in a well known Glasgow shopping centre.

No comment from SLAB on the arrest, or the fact that SLAB member Paul McBride weighed in to represent Haggarty. (ye gods ! – Ed)

Law Chief held with rent boy - Sunday Mail 3 May 2009 eExclusive: Legal aid chief arrested with rent boy in shopping centre toilet

Exclusive: Legal aid chief arrested with rent boy in shopping centre toilet

May 3 2009 Derek Alexander

A LEGAL Aid boss has been arrested in a public toilet with a rent boy.

Douglas Haggarty, 57, was arrested in a shopping mall after being found with the teenage prostitute.

He is the head of legal services at the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) - where his duties include lecturing lawyers on their public conduct.

Haggarty was arrested in British Home Stores in the St Enoch Centre, Glasgow.

Security guards alerted police after the known rent boy was seen following Haggarty into the shop's toilets.

Both men were arrested and Haggarty was charged with soliciting in a public place.

The procurator fiscal started summary proceedings against Haggarty.

But his lawyer Paul McBride QC - who sits as a member on the Scottish Legal Aid Board - asked the Crown Office to drop the charges, claiming there was not enough evidence to convict.

The procurator fiscal has decided to scrap court proceedings and deal with the case by a direct measure. These are powers available to prosecutors to deal with cases quickly.

They include issuing a fine, compensation order and written warning about future conduct. The powers available to procurators fiscal were extended last year.

The rent boy also had court proceedings against him dropped and was issued with a direct measure.

Haggarty, who lives in the Merchant City area of Glasgow, started work as a solicitor in 1975.

He helped Lord Bonomy compile his 2002 report on improving the practices and procedure of the High Court.

Haggarty submitted a paper to a Scottish Parliament finance committee on criminal procedure in 2003 and has been a member of other High Court review teams.

The legal aid chief, who declined to comment, has been off work sick since the incident in January.

A slab spokesman said: "The Board is aware of the case and that it has not been prosecuted. It's not appropriate for us to comment further."

Haggarty isn't the first SLAB boss to be arrested and dogged by controversy.

Dr Richard Scott, former head of SLAB, was twice arrested over incidents with his wife.

Arrest In January 1997 he was charged with three assaults but only convicted of breach of the peace and disorderly behaviour.

Six months later Scott was arrested again when police were called to his home but the Crown Office decided not to bring criminal charges.

Scott stood down as head of SLAB in 1999.

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