Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Case calling in court 6? No. Court 3? No. Court 1? No. Court 5? Yes .. and no.

I attended Aberdeen Sheriff Court today after receiving a letter by post dated 7 December 2016 from "Aberdeen Summary Team" of Aberdeen Procurator Fiscal's Office.
"I can confirm that the case has been accelerated to call on the 14 December 2016 at the Aberdeen Sheriff Court, Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1WP at 10.00 for a new trial diet to be set as the Crown will not be able to proceed on 26 January" (2017, though someone had mistyped "2016").
"Therefore please can you attend the Aberdeen Sheriff Court at the above date and time for a new trial diet to be fixed".
The Aberdeen Sheriff Court rolls, published on the internet, named "Court 6" which I confirmed with the reception at the court building but on sitting in court-room 6 I was approached by a lawyer asking if I was here for another court case? I said I wasn't but for an intermediate diet. The lawyer said that that my case was not calling here in court 6 but try court 3 where all intermediate diets were held.

I cross-checked with the reception and went to court 3. Waiting in court 3, I was told, no, it wasn't there so try court 1. In court 1, I saw Mr Dunbar, the procurator fiscal depute who was prosecuting the case who told me, actually it was court 5.

After informing the reception where I was heading to, I went up to court 5, where the police officer did not have my name "on the list" but the depute clerk said she had up to date information and yes the case was to call here, court 5.

Sheriff McLaughlin took the bench and I was first to be called into the dock where Mr Dunbar presented me with a draft of his proposed joint motion which he invited me to sign, which was a formality which apparently was required to allow the case to be "accelerated", to call in court before the next scheduled date.

I hesitated to sign it because I was not pleased to be appearing in the dock that day and was told by the Sheriff that I was not required to sign it, but that I could take some time to read the proposed motion over, discuss it with Mr Dunbar, which I did outside the court room.

I read it, had a can of Pepsi to drink and some time later Mr Dunbar and a woman police officer met with me outside the court room.

I told Mr Dunbar that whilst I was in favour of postponements, because I had never wanted this case to come to court, on any date, I was not in favour of accelerations and since the document mentioned an earlier date than the scheduled 26 January 2017, not a later date, I was not happy to sign it.

I took the opportunity of meeting with Mr Dunbar to request again consideration by prosecutors of alternatives to prosecution - direct measures, an apology, deleting the tweets, etc. and he said he would mention this to Laura Begg and I asked for an opportunity to speak to her about it.

I went back into court, was called into the dock again and we informed the Sheriff that I wasn't signing the proposed motion and she confirmed that the case would call as previously scheduled on 26 January 2017.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Due in court again Wednesday 14th December

I received a letter by post from Aberdeen Procurator Fiscal's Office, informing me of another calling of this case on Wednesday 14th December 2016, in Aberdeen Sheriff Court "for a new trial diet to be set as the Crown will not be able to proceed on 26 January". 

           Accused Details          Court Ref No            PF Ref No        Court Room
12 Alastair Peter DOW    SCS/2015-060310    AB14008188     Court 6