A 60-year-old woman has failed in her attempts to have criminal proceedings thrown out on the grounds that the court holds no authority over her.
Sandra Ivine, of Boddham, had issued a “statement of uncontroversial evidence” claiming she was facing a “false court” and the procurator fiscal was corrupt.
Irvine, who denies behaving in a threatening or abusive manner near her home on 28th November, also claimed Shetland is not part of Scotland.
But when her case was recalled at Lerwick Sheriff Court today (Thursday), Irvine was unable to convince Sheriff Ian Cruickshank to accept her evidence as “uncontroversial”.
The sheriff pointed out that such an argument – known as a section 258 appeal – is intended to cover facts that are unlikely to be disputed.
“Your statements of uncontroversial evidence are extremely controversial,” he said.
“It includes claims that this court does not have jurisdiction over you, that the procurator fiscal has no authority over and that you have allodial ownership of your own land and body.”
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said there was “nothing novel” about Irvine’s tactics
“They’ve been attempted by so-called sovereign citizens, or free men of the land, in virtually every western jurisdiction,” he said.
Mr MacKenzie said Irvine’s statement was simply an attempt to question the competency of the court.
However, he said that as Irvine had already entered into a plea of not guilty, it was too late for such arguments.
“That boat has sailed,” he said.
Sheriff Cruickshank agreed and ruled against Irvine’s motion to disregard the fiscal’s objection to the statement of uncontroversial evidence – meaning it does not not stand and Irvine will have to prove her arguments.
Despite having failed to win her motion, Irvine had succeeded in persuading the court to allow her to represent herself – although it had cost her a night in the cells.
Irvine had been ordered at her previous hearing, on 12th July, to undertake a psychiatric assessment as part of her bail conditions and to identify her competency in representing herself.
But after repeatedly refusing to do so, Sheriff Cruickshank was compelled to have her remanded in custody yesterday.
Her unofficial legal advisor, Stuart Hill, had also been remanded in custody following allegations of contempt of court.
At today’s hearing a psychiatrist attended – but Irvine still refused to undergo assessment.
The psychiatrist told the court Irvine felt that whatever she said could be “misused” by the court against her, possibly resulting in her being taken to a psychiatric hospital.
With no assessment available, Sheriff Cruickshank said he would proceed on the basis that there was “no medical impediment” preventing her from representing herself.
The trial will be held on 29th August.