Driver faked robbery to cover up giving money to prostitute
Taxi driver that felt shame but wasted police time was tangled in 'web of lies'.
15 October 2010 12:35 GMT
Driver Leitch: Said he felt sorry for prostitute. Pic: © STV A taxi driver faked an armed robbery to prevent his wife discovering that he had given money to a prostitute, a court heard.
Douglas Leitch, 54, told police he had been robbed at knifepoint by passengers, sparking an armed police response and massive manhunt.
But it was revealed that the taxi driver had invented the story in order to explain to his wife why he was missing.
He told Dundee Sheriff Court that he had been "propositioned" by a prostitute he picked up in his cab.
After he "entertained the possibility for some time", he pulled out of the transaction, leaving the prostitute distraught and crying.
He then claims to have "felt sorry for her and gave her money anyway."
Leitch then told police a fantasy tale about being robbed of £70 at knifepoint by three male passengers that he picked up in Dundee city centre.
Tayside Police launched a widespread manhunt, dispatching armed police and dog units.
Police issued a public appeal for witnesses of the "attack" to come forward, while Leitch's employers, 203020 Dundee Private Hire Ltd offered a reward of £5000 for information leading to the arrest of the alleged attackers.
But Police became suspicious of Leitch's claims after interrogating innocent members of the public who had fitted descriptions of the taxi driver's fictional muggers.
The Court heard Leitch, of Dundee, was sentenced to 160 hours of community service after admitting wasting police time by making the false claims and so leaving members of the public liable to be suspected and accused of robbery.
His solicitor Theo Finlay described how Leitch got himself into trouble. Mr Finlay said: "He felt sorry for her and gave her money. He clearly didn't think things through.
"In the resulting confusion, he was extremely anxious because he had to account for the lost money both to his wife and to his employers, and he then came up with this story.
"The repeated lies to police were there simply to hide his guilt he felt bad because he was tempted."
The court earlier heard that a large number of police hours had been wasted by Leitch's lie and the bill which does not include the police response on the night itself amounted to £4199.50.
Sheriff Alistair Duff sentenced Leitch to 160 hours of community service. He told him: "When I first heard the details of this case, I had a suspicion something like this may have been behind it.
"But what is wicked is your decision to spin out this web of lies. It continued for day after day as the police kept returning to you with questions about your story, no doubt because of the ball that you started rolling and couldn't stop.”http://oldestprof.com/index.php/crimewa ... prostitute