Sheriff refuses to read campaigner’s ‘nonsense’ legal documents

An 80-year-old sovereignty campaigner who was found to be in contempt of court has been admonished – and blamed for the imprisonment of a woman he had been advising.

Udal law enthusiast Stuart Hill had submitted pages of documents to Lerwick Sheriff Court ahead of his sentencing today (Thursday) – but these were dismissed as “nonsense”.

He had been found to be in contempt in August after publishing a “statement of truth” about the case of Sandra Irvine, a 60-year-old woman accused of threatening two bird watchers near her Boddam home.

The document included various accusations, including that Sheriff Ian Cruickshank was “culpable impersonating a sheriff” and that Irvine had been subject to “unlawful imprisonment and coercion”.

It also emerged that Hill had been making audio recordings of court proceedings, which is a criminal offence.

At the August hearing, Hill’s sentence was deferred for three months, during which time he was ordered by Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle not to enter Lerwick Sheriff Court, other than for lawful activity.

Returning for sentencing today, Hill first refused to enter the dock,only relenting “under duress” after being threatened with being forcibly placed there by an officer of the court.

Sheriff Pyle, appearing via video-link, warned Hill that if he was recording the proceedings he would be liable to be found in contempt again.

He told Hill that the purpose of the contempt proceedings had been to prevent him from “sabotaging” Irvine’s case, which has now concluded.

As reported elsewhere on this page, Irvine was jailed for 14 days on Wednesday after refusing to lodge a £500 cation, which is a type of refundable fine.

Sheriff Pyle said Hill’s involvement with Irvine had resulted in her imprisonment.

Referring to the documents submitted by Hill, the sheriff said he had better things to do than read “page after page of nonsense”.

“There was no need for you to be involved further in the proceedings before the court,” he added.

“According I’ve decided to admonish and dismiss you with regard to the contempt.

“You are now free to leave and I don’t want to hear any more from you.”

Hill said that while the sheriff may not want to hear from him, he was entitled to his “due process”.

He was again told to leave the court and the sheriff left the video call.


Add Your Comment
  • Brian Smith

    • November 3rd, 2023 12:25

    Stuart Hill’s views about udal law are indeed perplexing. As I understand it, he claims that all land (and shops) in Shetland belong to all Shetlanders. At the same time he seems to argue that individual Shetlanders can evict people from ‘their’ property. I’ve looked in vain at Gulathing law and Magnus Lawmender’s Landlaw for these contradictory provisions.


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