THE policewoman in charge of an investigation into alleged abuse by nuns 40 years ago was probed by top brass after wearing a Loyalist "No Surrender" badge on her uniform at a Rangers game, a court was told.

Nuns Anne Kenny, 79, known as Mother Rosaria, and Agnes Reville, 77, known as Mother Martin, deny assaulting eight girls at Dalbeth approved school in Bishopton, Renfrewshire, in the 1970s.

Yesterday, the jury at Paisley Sheriff Court heard Detective Constable Lesley McAuley – also known as Lesley Strachan – was in charge of the probe into alleged wrongdoing at the approved school.

One of her colleagues who worked with her on the inquiry in 2009, PC Nigel Gilmour, who has since been promoted to sergeant, was asked by defence QC Ronnie Clancy, representing Kenny: " Was Lesley McAuley in the driving seat," and he replied: "Yes."

The QC then produced a copy of a national newspaper from February last year, which showed a picture of a policewoman in uniform at Ibrox wearing a "No Surrender" sticker. Sergeant Gilmour was asked who it was a photograph of and replied: "DC McAuley."

The court heard DC McAuley was removed from football duties, but not suspended.

Sgt Gilmour was asked if Ms McAuley was facing criminal charges in respect of a completely different matter and he replied: "Yes." The jury was told a summary trial is expected to be held next month in relation to alleged assault charges.

One of the alleged offences is said to be racially aggravated.

Earlier, in evidence, 56-year-old Kathleen Humphries told the court she had been hit with a carpet beater by Mother Rosaria in her office.

The trial continues.