Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Scotland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Monday, 28 February, 2000, 17:59 GMT
Sheriff rules entrapment illegal

court sign
The sheriff ruled the jury could not hear the evidence

A man accused of drugs offences has walked free from court after the defence of entrapment was accepted by a for the first time by a Scottish court.

The defence succeeded because of the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into Scots law.

The convention has led to problems for the legal system in Scotland, including the use of temporary sheriffs and the working of Children's Hearings.

The latest case occured in Linlithgow Sheriff Court, where Sheriff Peter Gillam ruled the evidence against Paul Hammond could not be put to the jury because he had been encouraged to carry out an act he would not normally have been involved in.

Ecstacy supply

His pleas of not guilty to charges of possession and being involved in the supply of ecstasy were immediately accepted by depute fiscal Karon Rollo.

After the case, Mr Hammond said he was delighted with the result. He added: "It is great to create legal history. I am very happy with the result."

Human Rights Act The convention is creating challenges to the law
His solicitor Jim Keegan said: "This is the first time that the entrapment defence has been argued successfully in a Scottish court. It is another victory for Article 6 of the ECHR."

Mr Hammond was one of five people arrested during a raid on Club Class in Whitburn, West Lothian, in August 1998 after an undercover police operation targeted the nightclub for three nights.

They arrested Mr Hammond, of Blackburn, West Lothian, who was celebrating his 21st birthday and said he was so drunk on Bacardi Breezers he had not known what was going on.

Sentence deferred

They also arrested two disc jockeys - Stephen Lockie, 30, of Camelon, Falkirk, and Raj Gindha, 29, of Cathcart, Glasgow.

And they charged Alan Crosbie, 22, of Garrowhill, Glasgow, and Adele Tait, 21, of Whitburn, West Lothian, with drugs offences.

Lockie admitted supplying five ecstasy tablets worth 50; Gindha admitted possession of 250 worth of cocaine; and Crosbie and Tait both pleaded guilty to being involved in the supply of three ecstasy tablets worth 20.

Sentence was deferred on all four for background reports by the sheriff.
Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
04 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Car ruling threatens court chaos
15 Nov 99 |  Scotland
Euro-ruling hits court cases

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories