Andy Demands Re-trial
Andy Anderson, the first person to be convicted of refusing to pay tolls on the Skye Bridge, has written to the Scottish Secretary, Donald Dewar, demanding a re-trial.
In 1996 Mr. Anderson was convicted at Dingwall Sheriff Court on five counts of refusal to pay the tolls. The matter was then brought before the Court of Appeal by Mr. Anderson claiming, among other things, that documents submitted by the prosecution concerning agreements between the Government and the private company owning the concession to charge tolls, had been altered by having large sections removed.
But the Court of Appeal accepted the view of the Sheriff in Dingwall that Mr. Andersons case had not been prejudiced by the missing documents since, it was claimed, they did not contain anything which was relevant to the case.
While reluctantly accepting the verdict of the courts at that time Mr. Anderson is now viewing subsequent developments with disquiet. His letter to Mr. Dewar continues, "In cases of identical nature brought before the Sheriff Court the prosecution have submitted in evidence sections of these documents which were deemed to be irrelevant. Given this, is there not a prima facie case for a review of my conviction on the grounds that documents which were deemed irrelevant in my Appeal have been subsequently considered to be of great importance by the prosecution in subsequent Skye Bridge cases?"
"The Crown cannot have it both ways," Mr. Anderson said today. "Either the documents are irrelevant to the cases of individuals who have refused to pay tolls and should not have been produced by the Prosecution in Court, or they are relevant and I should not have been refused access to them. By actually producing the documents the Crown seems to be going with the latter and, if so, my convictions should now be considered extremely unsafe."
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Copyright © Ray Shields, 1998.
Most recent revision, 13 March 1998