A police officer who phoned a Johnstone criminal he was due to arrest and told her to "take a walk" so she wouldn't be in when he went to her door has been cleared of all wrongdoing.

Police Constable Gordon Henry was sent to arrest Lynn Pearson - who has since passed away - on six warrants for unpaid fines totaling £375.

But PC Henry called her home phone number from his police radio and said: "You might want to go for a walk.

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"Do you want to go for a walk or do you want to go to jail? We'll be there shortly."

PC Henry, and PC Brian Kelly, were tasked to attend Pearson's home in Graham Street, Johnstone, on December 4, 2015, to arrest her.

PC Henry phoned her home, told her they would be there in 30 minutes and that there were warrants for her arrest - saying she should leave so she wouldn't be in when he arrived.

Henry, 42, went on trial at Paisley Sheriff Court, accused of breaking Section 22(3) of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.

Prosecutors claimed he "did neglect or violate" his duty when "required to serve and execute a warrant" and "did telephone the said Lynn Pearson and warn her that you were on your way to said address for the purpose of executing said warrants and did invite her to 'take a walk' and induce her to leave said address to avoid apprehension in respect of said warrants."  

A recording of the phone call was played to the court and, in it, PC Henry could also be heard telling Lynn Pearson her brother had called the police saying he wanted her removed from the house - after she said Thomas was asleep in bed.

He denied neglect of duty, claiming he was using his discretion and experience following his 21-year-long police career to try and diffuse a "potential disturbance" between Pearson and her brother Thomas, who has also passed away, knowing they were both drinkers and violent.

The Gazette: Gordon Henry leaving Paisley Sheriff Court last week  

PC Henry, who is now "on reduced duties" and is working in the Production Department at Paisley's Mill Street Police Office, gave evidence in his own defence, saying: "They were both known to be violent.

"It could've kicked off in the house.

"My intention was purely to get her out the house.

"I wanted to get her out of the house to diffuse any potential disturbance while I was on route to the call."

"It was 21 years of police experience.

"Sometimes you have to think ahead of the game.

"As a police officer sometimes you instantly make a decision on a course of action.

"You have to think on your feet all the time.

"I would've picked her up the next time I was on duty.

"He could've been lying with something in his back or a brick over his head - he could've been lying dead for all I know.

"This was a decision made based on previous dealings with both parties.

"The reason I exercised my discretion was to prevent a potential disturbance between two people I knew to be violent towards each other."

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Last week Sheriff James Spy found the charge against Henry, whose address was given on court papers as care of Police Scotland Professional Standards Department, at Dalmarnock Police Office, in Glasgow, not proven, saying he thought Henry was exercising his discretion and that couldn't be converted "in to a criminal act."

He added: "There was no evidence brought before the court of there being any benefit to the accused acting the way he did.

"He turned up at the house later and the call received [where he told her to 'take a walk'] was made from a landline registered to Police Scotland."