A MAN, who was alleged to have attacked his Clydebank partner, has had his case thrown out of court on a legal loophole without standing trial.

David Kennoway, 29, left Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week a free man after a sheriff strongly criticised the Crown for failing to make stronger efforts to bring a vital witness to court to give evidence.

Mr Kennoway’s lawyer said: “At this stage the balance has swung in favour of the accused. It has had a large impact of the life of all the parties involved. This case was raised in the public interest, but the public interest has diminished given the passage of time which has passed since it was raised. The interest of the accused has to be taken into account.”

Mr Kennoway was alleged to have attacked the woman on November 7, 2017, at a flat in John Knox Street, Clydebank. It was claimed he lunged at her, attempted to seize her and struck her on the face.

Sheriff Simon Pender said: “He has been subject to a bail curfew for some considerable time now. His trial was put off on January 29 because of the absence of a Crown witness. There was no attempt by the police to take a witness warrant until March 3, two days before the case was due to call again as an intermediate diet.”

Prosecutor Iain Meacock, in response, said: “On January 30 there were instructions passed to the police from the Crown. The public interest is not just the fact it is a serious incident. There is also a public duty on the witness to give evidence having been cited. I would move that the trial be adjourned and new dates set.”

Sheriff Pender in reply said: “We had an intermediate trial on March 5, but there had been not attempt to cite the witness until March 3. It was the same witness who had been proving difficult to get to come to court when the original trial was put off on January 29. The instruction from the Crown to police was that this witness must be cited now, not two days before. It was incumbent on the Crown not just to use the standard pro-forma instruction.

“To wait until after the intermediate diet is not good enough or it will just rumble on. Something had to be done about that. The complainer is avoiding the citation. When the Crown gave an instruction to police to cite there was no urgency indicated. This has been going on since January 11 and the fault is the part of the Crown.

“I have to balance all matters, that of the Crown, the accused and the public interest. I am not prepared to grant the Crown a further adjournment.”

The Crown deserted the case and Mr Kennoway, of Yate Street, Barrowfield, Glasgow, walked free from the dock.