A Rigside man has walked free from court after the case was deserted by the Crown.

​An alleged Nazi sympathiser accused of intending to stir up racial hatred at a school walked free from court last Thursday.
Hamilton Sheriff CourtHamilton Sheriff Court
Hamilton Sheriff Court

​Darren Hurrel, 21, had charges against him dropped when a pupil failed to turn up to give evidence on behalf of the Crown.

Hurrel, of Douglasdale Street, Rigside, was accused of using threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour in Larkhall on October 27, 2022.

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Footage posted at the time showed him allegedly being chased by a mob of angry pupils outside Larkhall Academy.

It was further alleged that he spoke to children about Hitler and the Nazis, denied the Holocaust and performed Nazi salutes “while wearing racist clothing”.

A second charge against him stated that Hurrel posted racist material on an electrical connector box in Clarkston Road, Glasgow, on November 9, 2022.

Hurrel denied all the charges, brought by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service under the Public Order Act 1986, when he appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

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He was allowed to leave the dock after Sheriff Siobhan Connelly refused a Crown motion to further adjourn the trial to a later date.

The absent pupil witness who was due to give evidence was said to be an essential part of the prosecution case.

The trial had already been adjourned three times at the request of the Crown and on this occasion defence lawyer Andy Iles opposed the latest move to delay matters yet again.

He said: "This serious charge has been hanging over my client's head for a long time.

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"He has attended court on every occasion when he has been asked to.

"But it's clear that the Crown witness has no interest in attending court."

Refusing to allow an adjournment, Sheriff Connelly said: "The Crown has had a significant amount of time and all of the issues ought to have been flushed out a lot sooner."

The case was deserted pro loco et tempore which means Hurrel could be prosecuted again at a later date.

But the sheriff added: "The Crown would have to consider very carefully if it was going to do that."