Ex-police officer jailed for attempting to pervert course of justice

Former Pc Gavin Donaldson appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

A police officer who had a sexual relationship with a vulnerable teenager he met on duty has been jailed for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Former Pc Gavin Donaldson, from Midlothian, admitted telling the woman to delete thousands of emails and messages they had exchanged which were evidence of their relationship, Scotland’s prosecution service said.

He further told her not to hand over her phone to anti-corruption officers who were investigating his behaviour and tried to influence what she would say to them.

He was jailed for 14 months at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Donaldson, 45, who was based at Dalkeith police station, met the woman when she was a teenage victim of serious crime, the Crown Office said.

Despite being aware of her vulnerabilities, he began a relationship with her which lasted until November 2020 when he was suspended from duty.

Justin Farrell, who heads the Crown Office’s specialist criminal allegations against the police division, said: “Gavin Donaldson abused his respected position as a police officer.

“A woman who trusted him to provide professional help and support found herself being manipulated by him and encouraged to cover up his entirely inappropriate behaviour.

“I commend this woman’s bravery in speaking out about Donaldson’s actions.

“Members of the public will be protected by the law.

“They should have confidence that prosecutors will respond robustly and independently to reports of criminal behaviour by police officers.”

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