A fingerprint officer who was dismissed in the wake of the infamous Shirley McKie case is taking her fight to get her job back to the UK's highest court.

Fiona McBride is seeking to be reinstated by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) almost nine years after she was dismissed from its predecessor the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA).

The row goes back to January 1997 when Ms McKie, then a detective constable with Strathclyde Police, supposedly left a fingerprint at a murder scene in Ayrshire. She denied defying orders to stay out of the house where Marion Ross's body had been found.

Ms McKie was later cleared of perjury and awarded £750,000 in compensation. She also received an apology from the SPSA, accepting there had been an error in identifying the suspect fingerprint as hers.

HeraldScotland: Shirely McKie was cleared of perjury in 1999Shirely McKie was cleared of perjury in 1999

Ms McBride, who maintains there was no mistake, was later dismissed in May 2007 but took her case to an employment tribunal where she successfully sued for unfair dismissal.

The SPSA was ordered to reinstate her but after years of lengthy legal wranglings that decision was overturned.

The 48-year-old has now taken her case to the Supreme Court where judges will be asked to restore the original order for reinstatement.

A case summary from the court states that Ms McBride was suspended from work between 2000 and 2002 while investigations took place into the identification of the "Y7" fingerprint at the centre of the McKie case.

The summary states: "The investigations concluded there had been no misconduct and the appellant returned to work on restricted duties from 20 May 2002.

"Although she completed a 12-18 month retraining course and sought to return to full duties, she remained on restricted duties for the remainder of her employment."

This was partly because prosecutors feared that dragging up the previous "misidentification" in court could damage chances of securing convictions.

Ongoing criticism of Ms McBride's employers, the Fingerprint Bureau, eventually led to a new body - the Scottish Fingerprint Service - being set up within the SPSA.

The chief executive at that time, David Mulhern, said publicly that the Y7 fingerprint was a "misidentification", while Ms McBride and her colleagues maintained it was a "disputed identification".

The court summary states that Mr Mulhern then "made it clear that he did not want the [Ms McBride] and others who agreed with her about Y7 to be transferred to SPSA", however they were still transferred to the new service in April 2007.

A month later Ms McBride received a letter dismissing her because of her "inability to carry out the full range of [her] duties and the failure to identify any suitable redeployment options".

She is now asking the Supreme Court to restore the employment tribunal's original judgment, meaning she would be given a job within the SPA.

A hearing is scheduled to take place in March.