View Full Version : Cases from today's sheriff court

23-May-11, 16:23
Stole cash to fund legal fees

A FORMER Wick hotel cashier embezzled a substantial sum of money to solve a financial problem, the town’s sheriff court heard today.
Kayleigh Leiper’s job involved her dealing with the takings at Mackay’s Hotel in Wick, and depositing them at the businesses’ back account.
Suspicion led to the accused following a routine check on funds, and it was soon discovered that the amounts calculated at the hotel and those deposited, did not add up.
Senior fiscal depute, David Barclay said that Leiper (25) admitted the fraud when seen by the police and told them she had been having some difficulties following the purchase of a house with legal fees she had not budgeted for.
The accused said it had been “a spur of the moment thing”, rather than a premeditated fraud. When cautioned and charged she replied: “I am sorry for being so stupid”.
The court was told that Leiper of Owen Place, Wick, had repaid the entire sum involved, 1,637. She pleaded guilty to the fraud which occurred on September 6, last year.
Solicitor Neil Wilson said that the accused always knew she was going to be caught and was relieved when approached by the police whom she had given a full and frank confession.
Leiper had borrowed money from her father to make good the hotel’s loss.
Mr Wilson said that Leiper had lost her job and was dismissed from alternative employment she had managed to secure. However, she had been taken on by a cafe proprietor when he learned of the fraud.
Honorary Sheriff Anne Dunnett described it as “a very serious matter” which, in many cases, attracted a custodial sentence.
She added: “You put other people under suspicion which I can’t overlook. However, you have repaid the money and I think you personally should also repay something to the community.”
Leiper was ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid community service.

Accused who put down deer “unlikely Samaritans”

TWO men who illegally removed a roe deer carcase from land at Barnsdale, near Halkirk were both ordered to carry out 75 hours unpaid community service.
They were William Dunnett of Fairview Bungalow, Halkirk, and William Sutherland, of Lord Thurso Court, Thurso. They admitted the offence which occurred on April 4.
The court was told that the pair were observed loading the carcase into a vehicle and the police were informed.
Sutherland (26) gave a “no comment” response but Dunnett (33) explained that they had been out looking for rabbits when their dog had attacked the deer. He said that he had slit the animal’s throat to put it out of its misery and had taken the carcase to Halkirk to be buried.
A vet confirmed a wound to the deer’s throat as having been the likeliest cause of death and that other marks on the carcase were consistent with the animal having been attack by a dog.
Senior fiscal depute, Mr Barclay stressed that the offence was removing a roe deer without permission
Solicitor Joe McDonald, for Dunnett, a self-employed plumber, said that the deer had fallen to the ground and the decision to put it down was taken after it became clear, it was in a lot of pain.
Neil Wilson, appearing for Sutherland, unemployed said that the dog had leapt out of the vehicle and attacked the deer which had “quite rightly” been put of its misery.
Sheriff Berry commented: “It seems remarkable that two people happened to be out with a dog which brought down a deer, and they happened to be in possession of a knife with which to dispatch the deer. Looking at your previous convictions, you seem to be unlikely Good Samaritans.”

Bus crash case dropped

THE case against the owner of a bus which crashed in Caithness last Spring, while conveying a group of Orkney athletes south, has been dropped.
The decision that the Crown was not proceeding against Timothy Dearman from Alness, was given by senior fiscal depute, Mr Barclay, in a motion granted by Sheriff Berry.
Dearman (66) had denied having failed to ensure that the braking system of the coach was properly maintained, as owner of Tim Dearman Coaches and was due to stand trial.
The southbound coach, with 30 island athletes on board, crashed into a safety barrier at the treacherous hairpin bend, on the north side of Berriedale Brae, in early May. The driver and all the occupants escaped serious injury.
Reasons are not normally given for court cases dropped, but approached, afterwards Mr Barclay stated that the Crown had conducted a full review of the evidence in the case, and, on that basis, was “taking no further proceedings in this matter.”
He stressed that the decision had “nothing to do” with a point which had been the subject of a legal debate, namely, tests on the coaches brake fluid and who was going to pay for them. The debate had been the reason for the trial having been delayed on a couple of occasions.
The road was closed for a time following the accident and a single-lane system was in operation for some weeks until the safety barrier was repaired.

Over the limit

A SEVENTY-SIX-YEAR-OLD man, who drove with excess alcohol, was fined 150 and banned from driving for a year. He was Angus Mackay of Wilson Street. Mackay admitted the offence which occurred in the Thurso street on September 29, last year. Tests reavealed a breath-alcohol level of 47 micrograms. The legal limit is 35mgs.