Campaigner who refused to accept court’s authority jailed for 14 days

A 60-year-old woman who has persistently refused to accept the authority of Lerwick Sheriff Court has been jailed for 14 days.

Sandra Irvine was today (Wednesday) offered the choice to pay a £500 cation – a type of refundable fine – or imprisonment. She chose the latter.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank accused her of behaving with “arrogance”.

Irvine had been ordered in August to lodge the cation after being found guilty of threatening two birdwatchers during an incident near her Boddham home last November.

Throughout the case, Irvine had taken advice from “Udal law” campaigner Stuart Hill and questioned the jurisdiction of the procurator fiscal, the sheriff and the court.

Her defence involved allegations of false courts, pretend sheriffs and miscarriages of justice.

She had been previously been taken to the cells for refusing to comply will bail conditions, argued that the use of her name was a “legal fiction” and attempted to call the sheriff as a witness, along with the procurator fiscal and court clerk.

Upon sentencing Irvine, Sheriff Cruickshank told her the £500 could be repaid to her in a year if she could show she had been of good behaviour.

She was given 28 days to lodge the cation – but failed to do so.

The court hear Irvine had instead lodged a “promissory note” saying she would pay the sum as soon as the court showed proof of its jurisdiction.

“We only accept promissory notes in the form of recognised bank notes,” Sheriff Cruickshank said.

“Are you going to lodge the £500 cation?”

Irvine again asked for to be shown evidence of the procurator fiscal’s jurisdiction.

Sheriff Cruickshank said that he had previously considered Irvine’s behaviour in court as being down to “ignorance” not now considered it to be “arrogance”.

“You have been given the opportunity to lodge the cation and you have refused to do so.

“You have not appealed the decision of this court requiring you to lodge the cation.

“You are therefore in default and will serve the alternative of 14 days imprisonment from today.”

Irvine was led from the court in handcuffs.


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