Northern Ireland

Police received complaint that led to Donaldson arrest in early March

The PSNI has warned against speculation surrounding investigation

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson quit on Friday
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. PICTURE: LIAM MCBURNEY/PA (Liam McBurney/PA)

A complaint that led to the arrest of former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson over alleged historical sexual offences was made in early March, police have revealed.

The PSNI issued a short statement on Sunday afternoon, in the wake of “further commentary regarding the timeline of our investigation into non-recent sexual offences”.

A spokesperson said speculation had been “inaccurate”.

Mr Donaldson (61) resigned as DUP leader on Friday and was suspended from the party after being arrested and charged.

A 57-year-old woman arrested at the same time has been charged with aiding and abetting.

Mr Donaldson has said he will contest the charges.

“We received a complaint in early March 2024 alleging non-recent offences and we immediately commenced an investigation into this matter,” the PSNI spokesperson said.

“This then led to the arrest and charge of two suspects on 28th March 2024.”

They added: “We are again reminding members of the public and media outlets that speculation is unhelpful, and in this case inaccurate, and may ultimately have a negative impact on a criminal justice process.”