MP accused of assault to re-appear at court

Labour MP Marie Rimmer leaves Glasgow Sheriff Court where she had appeared after being accused of kicking a Yes campaigner on the day of the Scottish independence referendum. The case against Ms Rimmer collapsed because the word Glasgow was not included in court papers outlining the charge. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 3, 2015. See PA story COURTS Referendum. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Labour MP Marie Rimmer leaves Glasgow Sheriff Court where she had appeared after being accused of kicking a Yes campaigner on the day of the Scottish independence referendum. The case against Ms Rimmer collapsed because the word Glasgow was not included in court papers outlining the charge. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 3, 2015. See PA story COURTS Referendum. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

ST Helens MP Marie Rimmer will return to court this week after prosecutors in Scotland re-raised a case against her.

The Labour former council leader had been accused of kicking a Yes campaigner on the day of the Scottish independence referendum.

Ms Rimmer, who denies the charge, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this month. But the case collapsed because the word Glasgow was not included in court papers outlining the charge.

Scotland’s prosecution service have now re-raised the case with a hearing set for Thursday August 20.

The 68-year-old newly elected MP for St Helens South and Whiston is alleged to have assaulted Patricia McLeish at the entrance to Shettleston community centre, Amulree Street, then being used as a polling station, and kicking her on the body.

At the initial hearing, the court heard from first witness Ms McLeish, 51, a local government officer, who described how Ms Rimmer allegedly approached her while she was handing out Yes campaign leaflets outside Shettleston community centre.

She told the court that Ms Rimmer, who was wearing a red and yellow T-shirt and appeared to be from the Better Together campaign, twice came up very close into her face.

On the second occasion, she said Ms Rimmer came into her face in a “right intimidating manner” and asked “are you a shop steward?”

Ms Rimmer then allegedly asked where Miss McLeish worked and said that she herself was leader of Saint Helen’s Council, the court heard.

At the time Ms Rimmer was a Labour candidate and is now MP for St Helens South and Whiston.

Miss McLeish said: “At that I disbelieved it because I thought the manner she had approached me and her tone of voice was not akin to something like a leader of a council.”

She alleged that later Ms Rimmer came up and kicked her.

The witness told the court: “She came into my face again, right up and invaded my personal space, really close, something that normally doesn’t happen. Then she kicked me on the left shin.”

Asked whether it could have been an accident, she replied: “Definitely not because she smirked after it happened and the manner leading up to the event, it was not an accident.”

She said she then reported the incident to the presiding officer.

Mr Ewing did not have the opportunity to cross-examine Miss McLeish as the case then collapsed.