AN AYRSHIRE police detective has been cleared of allegations of “coercive control” towards a former partner after the break-up of their marriage.

Paul McRoberts, 45, was found not guilty of domestic abuse towards the woman at addresses in Mauchline, Ayr and Stewarton.

A four-day trial at Ayr Sheriff Court concluded last week with the presiding sheriff finding Mr McRoberts not guilty.

Mr McRoberts was alleged to have controlled what food the woman could buy and to have “changed her vehicle and energy bill details without her knowledge”.

Prosecutors had claimed that he “engaged in a course of behaviour which was abusive” towards the woman by repeatedly shouting and acting in an aggressive manner between April 1, 2019 and July 31, 2021.

Mr McRoberts, whose address was listed as care of Police Scotland’s professional standards department in Dalmarnock, Glasgow, denied aggressive or controlling behaviour in the relationship

He told the court the marriage became strained before the couple’s separation and that both parties “occasionally” spoke in “raised voices”.

The Crown had alleged that he restricted the types and brands of food the woman could buy, that he repeatedly implied there was not enough money coming in to the household, and that he attempted to make her work extra shifts.

Giving evidence in his defence, Mr McRoberts told the court he was still serving in the police, had joined the CID after serving in the army, and previously would go on holidays with old friends.

He denied ever attempting to maintain observations on the woman.

Giving evidence, one detective told the trial that police officers had been present when both parties’ cars met on the A76.

The court heard Mr McRoberts occasionally had to drive on the route past her home while he was working shifts.

He said his ex had physically purchased all the food for the household while they were together, and told Sheriff Mhairi MacTaggart that he had informed her about the changes to bills during their separation.

Mr McRoberts told the trial he had been invited to the woman’s home before an argument broke out about shift patterns.

He told the court: “Everything I was doing was getting twisted. It broke my heart.”

Finding him not guilty Sheriff Mhairi MacTaggart said she had concluded that “what had played out was the breakdown of your marriage”.

Two further charges of threatening behaviour were dropped by the prosecution.