Witness says he was ‘too busy’ to attend court

Sheriff Craig Caldwell dealt with a reluctant witness at court last week
Sheriff Craig Caldwell dealt with a reluctant witness at court last week

A witness who failed to turn up to a trial because he was too busy was told he was lucky he was not getting locked up.

Witless Jamie Peden was delivered by a court officer to last Thursday’s Falkirk Sheriff Court and then told Sheriff Craig Caldwell he could not attend a trial which took place at the court earlier in the year because he was “quite busy” at the time.

Sheriff Caldwell said: “This is a very serious matter and one which often results in a finding of contempt of court. And the person in contempt may well find themselves in prison.”

Peden was given one final opportunity to attend the next sitting of the trial on Tuesday.

Sheriff Caldwell said: “The next trial date takes place on April 18 and you will need to be there. If you are not there on that day you will be arrested and you will be certain to go to jail.”

Peden was not the only offender who did not seem to grasp the orders of the court last week.

Sheriff Caldwell said Leeanne Marshall (29) was coming close to “talking herself back into jail” by failing to engage with her community payback order.

Marshall received the order for a number of offences including assaults she committed at her 39 Haugh Street, Bainsford, home between May 8, 2013 and June 30, 2015 and July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014.

Sheriff Caldwell gave her four weeks to start complying with her order and warned jail was a certainty if she did not.

Gary Frew’s engagement with his community payback order – which he received for behaving in a threatening manner at Castleton Mini Market, Castleton Crescent, Grangemouth, on July 28 last year, went off the rails when his mother died, but Sheriff Caldwell said the 27-year-old would have to start concentrating on his order or suffer the consequences.

He added: “This is a matter you have to give priority to.”

Frew, 16 Bute Place, Grangemouth, was given four weeks to start engaging fully with his order.