View Full Version : Case could be one of the longest ever at Wick court

04-Jul-11, 19:52
Post-office robberies trial
could take up to a month

PREPARATIONS are being finalised for the post-office robberies trial which could last up to a month, making it one of the longest to be held at Wick Sheriff Court .
More than 100 witnesses have been listed to give evidence in the case which will hear allegations of raids in Caithness and Sutherland, among other premises in the Highlands. Post offices in Spittal, Canisbay, and Talmine form part of the allegations.
Facing trial are John Hind (52) from Colne, Lancashire and Matthew Peters (37) currently living at Ackington, near Morpeth.
They deny have broken into premises, mainly post offices, between April 27 and October 12 in 2010 and stealing cash totalling 34,497 and stock amounting to 10,508. Hind and Peters have also denied further charges of stealing a car and driving it at a police constable Andrew Cooper, who signalled them to stop on the Fort William-Mallaig road, forcing him to take evasive action to avoid being struck.
The case has been the subject of several continuations but Sheriff Andrew Berry was informed today that a date of August 9, had been set, for the jury trial. The possibility of certain evidence being agreed by the prosecution and defence is being investigated and it might not be necessary to call all of the witnesses.
Sheriff Berry referred to the case’s long history and said that “with a great deal of hesitation” he would allow another hearing in a fortnight’s time. He added that the question of what evidence could be agreed, would determine the number of witnesses required.
The sheriff said that the sheriff clerk was currently engaged in “a great deal of adjustment” to accommodate the trial and normal business, which would require the use of the second court in the building and added: “It is far from satisfactory that a joint minute of agreement in not in place today” and concluded that he would expect that position to have been reached by the next hearing.
That would allow the court to consider how long the trial was likely to last.