A JUDGE has accepted there was evidence of "unacceptable intimidatory and threatening behaviour" by a senior police officer in the failed Rangers fraud case.

Lord Tyre made the observation as a key Rangers takeover figure failed in a multi-million pound malice claim against Scotland's senior law officer and police chief.

Business consultant David Grier of Duff and Phelps had been seeking £5m damages from the Lord Advocate and £9m from Police Scotland over wrongful arrest.

Mr Grier, 58, from London, who had also demanded a public apology from officials said the arrest had been a "career ending moment".

But Court of Session judge Lord Tyre who has already ruled there was no “probable cause” to prosecute Mr Grier said that he had not made out a case that there was malicious prosecution.

The case comes after ex-Rangers administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark of Duff and Phelps, agreed a settlement estimated to be around £24m after an agreement in their malicious prosecution case against the Lord Advocate and the Chief Constable was reached "extra-judicially".

READ MORE: Key Rangers figure David Grier fails in £14m claim against prosecutors over failed fraud case

Mr Grier, also of Duff and Phelps, was charged in 2014 along with a number of other men during an investigation into how Mr Whyte bought the company that ran the Glasgow football club three years earlier.

He said police arrested him at his home in the south of England at 6am and drove him north to Glasgow.


Mr Grier, a key figure in businessman Craig Whyte's purchase of Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1 in May 2011, said that many years after his arrest, he still had no idea why he was prosecuted over his involvement.

Mr Whitehouse, Mr Clark, Mr Grier and four others were subjected to detention and criminal proceedings in relation to fraud allegations in the wake of Craig Whyte's disastrous purchase of Rangers and its subsequent sale before a judge dismissed all charges.

In lengthy findings Lord Tyre said he was also "not persuaded" that are there was anything that supported an "improper motive" in the the police and prosecutors pursuing a case against Mr Grier.

But he also went on to question the behaviour of Detective Chief Inspector Jim Robertson, who was one of the primary focuses of the malicious prosecution claim.

The judge said: "As regards behaviour during interviews, there was evidence , which I accept...of unacceptable intimidatory and threatening behaviour by Mr Robertson during interviews.

The judge said that the officer told one person that he would arrest him and did not care how many people he arrested and told a solicitor to “shut up or I will put you out”. DCI Robertson was said to have  described Duff & Phelps principals as “thick as thieves”.

Lord Tyre said that the officer's view of legal professional privilege, at the time of the investigation and during the hearing appeared to be that it was a device used by lawyers to "conceal their clients’ wrongdoing".

He said: "The presence of malice was said to be supported by two matters in particular, namely Mr Robertson’s disregard of legal professional privilege and his inappropriately aggressive behaviour when interviewing witnesses. In relation to both of these matters I found Mr Robertson’s evidence to be evasive and unreliable."

He added: “In other respects I found Mr Robertson’s evidence unsatisfactory. At the outset he attempted to decline to provide any oral evidence on the basis that his evidence was in his written statements, and he had to be instructed to answer questions.

“At some times he professed lack of memory because of the passage of time; at others he demonstrated a detailed recollection of events when it was in his interest to do so. I have not accepted his evidence on contentious matters without support from other sources."

During the hearings, Philip Duffy, a Duff & Phelps special advisor said that DCI Robertson's behaviour had been "bizarre".

He had told the court he thought DCI Robertson chanted what appeared to be a Rangers song during his third interview at a police station in London which took six hours.

He said: “It sounded like a football song. I think the words ‘the Big House’ was mentioned. I didn’t realise what it was at the time. It just sounded like a football chant.

“I remember turning around to my lawyer and looking at my lawyer and the lawyer looking at us and both had quizzical looks on our faces.

“I vaguely remember something about ‘the Big House’ and I didn’t know what that meant until I spoke to somebody and they said Rangers fans refer to Ibrox as ‘the Big House’.

“It was just bizarre.”


DCI Robertson had denied singing football songs to Mr Duffy.

The police investigation was launched against a backdrop of the controversial nature of Mr Whyte's nine-months in charge which ended with the club's business going into administration with debts soaring over £100m while the team ended up relegated to the bottom rung of the Scottish football pyramid.

Mr Whyte had agreed to take on Rangers' financial obligations, which included an £18m bank debt, a potential £72m 'big tax case' bill, a £2.8m "small tax case" liability, £1.7m for stadium repairs, £5m for players and £5m in working capital.

But he controversially helped fund his takeover by setting up a loan in advance from London-based investment firm Ticketus against rights to three to four years of future club season ticket sales in a bid to raise £24 million and pay off bank debt as part of a share purchase agreement with Sir David Murray.

Mr Grier has always said he was unaware that London finance firm Ticketus funded Mr Whyte's controversial purchase of the club by buying up rights to future season tickets.

But officers suspected Mr Grier, of London, had broken the law during the sale of the Ibrox side and the businessman was charged with fraud, conspiracy, a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act and a charged of attempting to pervert the course of justice - before the case was dropped.

Prosecutors and the police had argued that they had a degree of reasonable cause to pursue Mr Grier.

The Chief Constable argued that officers formed a "reasonable belief" that he was implicated in criminal wrongdoing and had assisted in a fraudulent scheme.