A senior Scottish Ambulance Service executive has retired during an inquiry into allegations that he hid a criminal conviction from his employers.

Former finance director Brian Roy was the subject of newspaper claims in August that he concealed a conviction for his part in a whisky fraud in 1981, when he was employed by Scottish and Newcastle Breweries.

He was suspended and an internal investigation led to a disciplinary hearing. But before this reached a conclusion, Mr Roy told the board he would like to retire.

Although the disciplinary hearing was confidential, the board and Mr Roy made its findings public.

They were that Mr Roy was convicted for his part in a fraud in which 1,130 cases of coloured water were passed off as whisky, swindling customs out of almost£60,000. But his 'conviction is spent and protected by the rehabilitation of offenders legislation'.

The hearing also found that a form Mr Roy completed when he applied for a job at Scotland's Common Services Agency did not contain a question about previous convictions.

Mr Roy transferred to the ambulance service in 1991, but 'at no time completed an ambulance service application form'. Alleged extracts printed in newspapers were therefore 'completely false'.

Scottish Ambulance Service chair Owen Clarke said: 'Although the main media allegations against Brian Roy were unfounded, there remained the very important issue of public trust, confidence and accountability, which Brian also recognised.'