No shows mean no trials at the court

Lanark Sheriff Court', scene of the delays in trials
Lanark Sheriff Court', scene of the delays in trials

Practically a whole day was wasted at Lanark Sheriff Court last Wednesday when a series of trials had to be called off, mainly due to witnesses not turning up.

Most were re-scheduled to later dates but one was abandoned completely after what was the fourth attempt to get the trial underway also failed.

The session started with the case of Alexander Sirrell (24) of 86 Miller Street, Carluke, who denies that, on April 18 in Glenafeoch Road, Carluke, he assaulted Robert Smith by punching him on the head and body.

The prosecution moved for the trial to be adjourned to a later date as one of its essential witnesses was in Hairmyres Hospital with pneumonia; Sirrell’s defence solicitor objected, pointing out this was the fourth trial date his client had been given.

Sheriff Duguid, however, ruled that one more attempt be made to get proceedings underway and he set a new trial date of October 28.

The next trial was to be that of 34-year-old Amanda Fisher of 42 Milton Crescent, Carluke, who denies a charge of inducing another person to enter a house illegally; in this case a witness was found to be in custody on another matter and had not been brought to Lanark to give evidence.

A new trial date of October 2 was set.

The case of Ami Orr (22) of 9 Wellwood Avenue, Lanark was next. She denied that she breached a court bail condition on an earlier matter to stay away from a person in Lesmahagow by being found standing outside his home. In this case, two witnesses had not come to court. One was judged to have a reasonable excuse and a warrant was issued for the arrest for the other. Ms Orr’s trial was put off to October 20.

Then the case against Chelsea Simpson (19) of 75b Lethamhill Road, Glasgow, was compleletly abandoned. She denied that, on March 16 last year at 29 Kildare Drive, Lanark, she assaulted her mother by punching her in the face and behaving in a threatening manner.

This, the fourth and final hearing of the case, was abandoned when her alleged victim, her mother, failed to appear. A warrant for the mother’s arrest was issued.