A BARRHEAD cop has been cleared of breaking the law...after colleagues admitted bungling their investigation into his conduct.

PC Robert Ferguson, 35, was said to have been speeding when he crashed his squad car into a taxi in the town’s Main Street on January 18 last year.

He was charged with driving without due care and attention and causing the collision.

However, PC Ferguson was found not guilty after Paisley Sheriff Court heard mistakes had been made by colleagues during their investigation.

Mohammed Azeem, who was behind the wheel of the taxi that collided with the Peugeot 308 being driven by PC Ferguson, was the first witness in the case and gave evidence back in January.

Mr Azeem, 32, denied claims from defence solicitor Iain Cahill, representing PC Ferguson, that the lights on his Skoda Octavia had been out at the time of the crash.

PC Thomas Hastie also gave evidence.

When asked by Mr Cahill about the fact Mr Azeem’s car was never examined to establish whether or not the lights were working, he replied: “It would concern me, yes, that is an error.”

PC Jason Curtis also gave evidence, telling the court another mistake had been made in the investigation.

He said he had asked Mr Azeem if his lights had been on.

When asked by Mr Cahill if he knew it could be a criminal offence to drive at night with no lights on, PC Curtis replied: “Yes.”

And, when asked what he should do when given that information, he replied: “There probably should’ve been a full inquiry carried out. He [Mr Azeem] would need to have been cautioned under Section 1 as an accused and interviewed.”

PC Curtis then conceded that those procedures were not carried out and that he should not have asked Mr Azeem whether or not his headlights were working in those circumstances.

PC Ferguson also gave evidence, telling the court that Mr Azeem’s car came towards him with no lights on as he turned a corner.

Mr Cahill asked Sheriff Tom McCartney to acquit his client, saying he had slowed down to take the turn and done everything he could to check there was nothing coming.

After leaving the bench to think about his verdict, Sheriff McCartney found Ferguson not guilty.

Read the latest from the Barrhead News