THE skipper of one of the country’s largest fishing boats walked free from court yesterday when the case against him alleging he had threatened to shoot people was deserted.
John Peter Duncan, 60, of Saltoo, Collafirth, had previously denied a breach of the peace at Bonavista in Ollaberry between 9th and 15th June.
The Altaire skipper had also pleaded not guilty to making threats in repeated phone calls to a house in Lerwick’s St Olaf Street.
Trial had been set for yesterday’s date at the town’s Sheriff Court.
But when defence agent Sean Flanagan said the accused was sticking to his plea of not guilty, procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie called for the case to be deserted pro loco et tempore, a Latin phrase meaning the fiscal has the option to re-indict Duncan with fresh charges at a later date.
However, no explanation was given by the Crown as to why the the case was abandoned.
Mr Duncan was not entirely let off the hook.
Sentence had previously been deferred after Duncan admitted driving his high-powered Audi at 87 mph on the A970 at Tingwall on 17th March.
Mr Flanagan said Duncan was travelling home at the time of the offence, when the weather was fine and visibility was good.
He said Duncan only broke the speed limit when he pulled out to overtake a car travelling in front of him at the time.
Prior to that his car’s cruise control system had been set, and he was driving at speeds between 55mph and 60mph.
“He took the decision to accelerate quickly past the other car.”
He said Duncan travelled between 10,000 and 12,000 miles a year, had been driving for 43 years, had never been involved in an accident and had no endorsements on his licence.
Sheriff Napier warned Duncan it was “a ridiculous speed” to be driving at, but he stopped short of banning him from getting behind the wheel.
His licence was endorsed with six penalty points, and he was fined £400.
Mr Duncan refused to comment to The Shetland Times after his case was heard.