Former general election candidate Hill jailed for two months

Former general election candidate Stuart Hill has been jailed for two months after confirming he had been illegally recording court proceedings.

Stuart Hill out campaigning in the general election. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The 77-year-old was charged with contempt of court by Sheriff Richard McFarlane, sitting in Kirkwall Sheriff Court where Hill is accused of failing to declare his expenses, after standing for election to Westminster for Orkney and Shetland in 2017.

Mr McFarlane challenged Hill over a passage in his book, Stolen Isles: Shetland’s True Status. On Wednesday, the sheriff said he had spotted a section in the book, in which the author claimed to record court proceedings.

Asked if he was actively recording his case in court at the time, Hill confirmed that he was.

Hill appeared back in court on Thursday, charged with contempt of court. It was proposed that if he deleted the previous day’s recording from his device — a Blackberry phone — then it would “purge” the contempt of court charge. Given a number of hours to consider this, he refused this compromise, stating that he did not recognise the sheriff or court’s authority.

As well as being sentenced to prison, Hill was also ordered to forfeit his recording device to the police.

Hill’s trial continues and will call again on Wedneday 4th March.


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