Former detective beaten with pool balls in a sock as jail sentence begins


A DISGRACED former CID boss was brutally battered by a prisoner shortly after starting a jail sentence.

Richard Munro, who once headed CID at Fife Constabulary, needed hospital treatment after he was hit on the head with a sock stuffed with pool balls.

The 53-year-old had just arrived at Dumfries Prison to start a five year sentence for withholding evidence from prosecutors investigating a murder.

A source close to the jail said: “It happened almost as soon as he arrived. He got battered with pool balls in a sock.”



Munro, a former detective chief superintendent who once earned in excess of £70,000-a-year, was rushed by ambulance to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and received treatment.

A spokeswoman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “We can confirm that a 53-year-old man was admitted and treated on August 5. He was discharged the same day.”

Former police officers who end up in jail are often targeted by resentful prisoners.

But one man who was wrongly convicted as a result of Munro’s crime today urged fellow prisoners to “leave him alone to serve his sentence.”


“The system”

Steven Johnston, who was wrongly convicted of killing Andrew Forsyth in Dunfermline 17 years ago and spent 10 years in jail, said: “That’s not what I wanted at all.

“I can assure you it’s not doing me any favours. I’d rather people leave him alone to serve his sentence.

“He got five years and, if he goes through the system the right way, it’ll be a few years.

“I know that after a few years you can get used to prison. If he gets used to prison he’ll have bigger problems when he gets out.”

Asked how it had proved so easy for a former police officer to be attacked so soon after arriving at the jail, a spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said: “In the event of any incident, the matter would be reviewed.

“Security would be looked at.”


“Grave Misconduct”

Munro was found guilty of engineering the case that led to Johnston and Billy Allison’s convictions for the murder of Andrew Forsyth during a drunken row in 1995.

Information that could have helped the pair’s defence was withheld by Munro.

Johnston and Allison’s murder convictions were quashed in 2006 by appeal court judges who expressed “grave misconduct” over the conduct of police.

Lothian and Borders Police were called in to investigate the case and after a two-year enquiry uncovered evidence enough evidence against Munro for him to be prosecuted for attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Judge Lord Doherty, while passing sentence, said Munro “contributed substantially to the convictions of Johnston and Allison being miscarriages of justice.”



It is understood that Munro was held at another prison following his sentencing at the end of July and being transferred to Dumfries.

Steven Cosans, Munro’s stepson, declined to comment on the alleged assault in Dumfries Prison but added: “The most honest and hardworking man I have ever met faces years in jail. If this is the kind of country modern Scotland has become, I am ashamed to call myself a Scotsman.”

Police have launched an investigation with the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) pledging to support it “in any way we can.”

A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway police said: “We are making inquiries into an allegation of assault at 4.15pm on Sunday, August 5 at HMP Dumfries.

“At this stage no one has been arrested and an investigation is continuing into the matter.”