A COUNCILLOR who wrote a plea for leniency for a security firm director convicted of the "inhumane" torture of a vulnerable young man faces possible censure, suspension or disqualification.
Edinburgh Labour councillor David Walker said he understands an initial investigation the Commissioner for Ethical Standards has now reached the Standards Commission which has the power to impose such sanction.
He said yesterday he had not previously been "aware of the level of violence involved" in the case of John Lindsay, a director of Edinburgh-based JSL Security Services, who was jailed for seven years at the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday.
The Craigmillar and Portobello councillor has offered his "sincere apologies" to the court.
He was ridiculed by Lord Turnbull after he wrote on council notepaper to the judge asking that Lindsay be spared jail.
Lindsay and two accomplices subjected Jamie Alexander to a terrifying 90-minute ordeal in July last year.
The 20-year-old victim had boiling water poured over him before he was put in a kennel with two large dogs.
The victim, who was also burned with cigarettes, had wandered into Lindsay's unlocked home after losing his train ticket and was looking for directions.
Lindsay returned to the High Court this week after previously admitting to the savage attack.
The judge told Lindsay that his background of "taking the law into his own hands" made the offence more serious.
The court earlier heard how Mr Alexander lost his return ticket from Falkirk to Edinburgh, he had no money and had been wandering the streets for days.
He was sleeping rough and eventually found himself outside Lindsay's home on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Mr Alexander walked into the unlocked house seeking directions.
The judge described councillor Walker's plea as preposterous and said he had "never seen anything more ridiculous" in his legal career.
Lord Turnbull had said earlier: "This is an act of barbaric torture over a prolonged period of time on a vulnerable young man.
"This councillor proposes it should be dealt with by a non-custodial sentence.
"What troubles me is the way in which this individual does so in his public capacity."
Lord Turnbull ordered his clerk to make Mr Walker aware of the full facts of the case and asked for an apology.
Mr Walker said yesterday: "I wrote a letter of apology to the Court in mid-December stating that I was not aware of the level of violence involved when I wrote the reference.
"I believe the matter is now with the Standards Commission, so I am unable to say anything further at this point."
It is unclear at this stage whether any action would be taken by the Labour group which rules in a coalition with the SNP.
A Labour Group source said: "David has accepted his remarks were not appropriate and offered his sincere apologies to the Court and Lord Turnbull."
But a senior council source said: "The Standards Commission has the power to impose a sanction of censure, suspension or disqualification."