Nicholas Rossi appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court under the name of Arthur Wright. He argued that he was not the person accused of rape in Utah and instead stated that he was from Ireland and had never visited the United States. 

The court heard evidence from staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital who treated him as a patient. Further evidence was heard from detective constables who obtained fingerprints from him. 

A charge nurse spoke to a number of tattoos on his arms which were similar to tattoos in photographs of Mr Rossi. The fingerprint examiners positively identified the impressions of two fingers they examined as those of Mr Rossi. 

Counsel for the requested person argued that the sheriff could not rely on the evidence of those who had seen the tattoos on his arm. It was also argued that there was an explanation for the change of name due to his marriage and adverse childhood experiences. 

In providing his opinion to the court, Sheriff McFayden stated: “I have no valid or coherent reason to doubt that the prints examined were those provided by the US authorities and that these are, as they assert, prints of Nicholas Rossi who is charged in their proceedings and I reject Mr Knight’s explanation as to how his prints came to be taken while he was in hospital. and inserted in the relevant files as implausible and fanciful.

He concluded: “It seems to me highly suspicious that the change of names went through a number of permutations. That seems to me consistent with someone who was hiding from someone or something.

It is therefore an adminicle of evidence, that is, it is a relatively minor supporting piece of evidence which supports the evidence as to identification, but does not amount to freestanding proof of identification.”

The sheriff confirmed that the person appearing in court was Nicholas Rossi.