View Full Version : Additional cases from Friday's sheriff court session

19-Aug-12, 10:55
Surprise witness may make an appearance in Forss assault trial solicitor reveals at Wick court

THE defence in the trial of a man accused of assault on a Caithness estate, may call a surprise witness to give evidence.
The intriguing development was revealed by Graham Mann representing James Sutherland, at Wick Sheriff Court on Friday, before the sheriff was due to hear evidence from the defence.
Mr Mann said that Sutherland, facing three charges of assaulting three employees of the Forss House Fishery, on a track, had received an unsolicited letter from a man in Berwickshire.
The solicitor said that the man had become aware of the proceedings (reported on caithness.org) and had relevant information. Mr Mann said: “It would be remiss of me if I didn’t make some further inquiry and if necessary, add him to the list of defence witnesses.”
There was no objection from the prosecution and Sheriff Andrew Berry allowed Mr Mann time to investigate the matter.
Sutherland (52) denies assaulting 78-year-old fishery manager, Mr Brocklebank-Fowler, wood cutter Anthony Carberry and handyman Philip Adshead, who are both aged 35.
They previously told the court that they were acting on a request from Highland Council to remove the lower section of a conifer from a track, on April 12 and had nearly finished the task when Sutherland appeared “in an agitated state”.
He wanted to know what they were doing on his land and, it was alleged the accused picked up a branch and struck Mr Brocklebank-Fowler three times with it and then assaulted wood-cutter Mr Carberry and handyman, Mr Adshead.
During their evidence, it was stated that there seemed to be some dispute about the ownership of the tree and whose land it was on.
Cross-examined by Mr Mann, Mr Carberry, known as T.C., acknowledged that “the real issue” was Mr Brocklebank0Fowler’s use of it to travel between his cottage and the hotel.
Mr Mann: “There was a tree put there by the accused to block that passage?” Mr Carberry replied: “Yes” but denied the prosecution evidence was “a complete fabrication”.
The trial will resume later in the year.

Breached curfew by causing disturbance

A Wick woman was fined 200 after exhausting all the alternatives designed to help her.
Irene MacPhee (54) admitted behaving in a disorderly manner and breaching bail by failing to adhere to a curfew previously imposed by the court.
Police called to a disturbance at a house in Nicolson Street, Wick, on June 29, were subjected to shouting and swearing by the accused. MacPhee, who had been drinking, ignored a warning from officers and was arrested. She was said to have been concerned about the company her son was keeping.
Sheriff Berry said it would be interesting to know what her yardstick for behaviour was, when she was incapable of doing what she herself was told about complying with court orders.
The sheriff added that the court had tried all other forms of support for MacPhee, of Kinnaird Street, Wick, and these had all failed.

Threw water at police officer

A DRUG dealer who behaved in a “disgraceful” manner towards the police after being arrested, has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community service.
Roddy Aitken swore at one officer, using an unsavoury term, and threw a cup of water at another officer. Aitken (27) admitted assaulting a police officer and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and two charges of supply drugs.
He was at a party in Wick on October 31, last year when he gave some of the guests ecstasy tablets and cannabis resin, as an obligement, as opposed to a commercial transactions, it was claimed.
A few months later, on June 29, this year, he was arrested on an unrelated matter and taken to Wick police station where he swore at a police officer. The following day he assault constable Derek Fraser by throwing the cup of water throw the cell hatch, striking P. C. Fraser, in the face.
Aitken, of Girnigoe street, Wick, was said to have been “high” on drink or drugs at the time.