Brutal assault case witness offered to take bribe

Alan Wright appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court
Alan Wright appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court

A Fife man who offered to change his evidence in court in return for cash has been told to prepare for a jail sentence.

Alan Wright sent the messages ahead of a scheduled jury trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, which had to be called off when his actions came to light.

He was to be a Crown witness in a trial relating to an alleged serious assault on him.

However, Wright (45) of Nairn Path, Glenrothes, has now ended up in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, rather than the witness box.

He admitted that on various occasions between September 8, and October 30, 2017 at his home, knowing he was a Crown witness and complainer in a criminal prosecution on indictment, he sent online messages to Louise Dewar and Alexander Fyffe in which he offered to provide false evidence favourable to the accused in return for money and attempted to pervert the course of justice.

The messages were sent to the female partner of one of the accused and to a second man who was facing charges.

Depute fiscal Nicola Henderson said Wright was to give evidence at a trial over allegations that he had been assaulted.

However, ahead of the court case, Wright entered into online conversations with Louise Dewar, partner of one of the accused, Christopher Kelly.

These included a Facebook message to Ms Dewar asking: “Louise are you going to square me up to make sure your man is alright on Monday?”

She believed this was an attempt by Wright to obtain money, added the depute.

Later messages included: “It’s the deadline pal” and then: “Just going to tell the truth. You didn’t get back to me.”

The matter came to light in court before the trial which could not go ahead as scheduled.

Police later executed a search warrant at Wright’s home and seized his mobile phone.

Wright told officers: “I ken what this is about. It’s them putting pressure on me.”

He claimed “three or four people” had approached him asking him to “twist the story about being stabbed”.

He then complained to police: “This is a complete misunderstanding. I think it’s completely wrong. It’s me who was attacked.”

Sheriff Charles MacNair called for reports and continued bail but warned Wright he was facing a “lengthy custodial sentence” when he returns on June 26 and so should “put his affairs in order” before then.

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