PF v Claire McIntosh abd Janet McIntosh 2018

Ms Claire McIntosh and Ms Janet McIntosh have had their criminal case dropped after CCTV footage of the alleged incident was destroyed. The woman were both co accused’s charged with behaving in a “threatening or abusive manner likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm”.

Both woman were charged and appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court. However at the Intermediate Diet their legal teams lodged compatibility minutes challenging the legality of the proceedings. After the original not guilty plea the minuters solicitors asked for the CCTV to be retained. In this case because of a rescheduling of the first calling the normal 30 day deadline to retain CCTV before it was overwritten was missed. The Court was told the required time scale was not complied with due to staff shortages for the CCTV. The evidence, as a result, was no longer available. However, a police officer had stated they had viewed the CCTV but this was no longer available for the Minuter’s to view, nor to be available at trial.

Therefore there was a hearing assigned on the compatibility minutes. The Minuter’s argued that the missing CCTV caused “prejudice” to their defence. It was further argued that to prosecute given the circumstances was in direct contravention of section 6 of the Human Right Act 1998. Sheriff McDonald agreed and sustained the compatibility minutes stating: “I consider that the loss of the CCTV footage does infringe the article 6(1) right of both minuters’ to a fair trial. The lost evidence is in my view material.” The case was therefore and disserted simpliciter.