Tycoon will spend Christmas in jail

Lanark Sheriff Court
Lanark Sheriff Court

A Lanarkshire property tycoon will spend Christmas behind bars after his bid to be granted bail at Lanark Sheriff Court failed on Thursday.

Appearing from custody, David Bryson, 41, of Floors Farm, Strathaven, denied that he breached a condition of bail granted by Hamilton Sheriff Court on October 27 not to make any contact with Ciara Nelson, of New Lanark, after denying a charge of having stalked her and another woman.

He denied having made contact with her by telephone, text and social media the very day after bail was granted and for the two days after that.

He was represented by one of Scotland’s leading legal figures, Gordon Jackson, who appealed to Sheriff Scott Pattison to again allow his client bail.

The QC told the court that Ms Nelson had been interviewed by other legal representatives acting for Bryson and claimed she had told them she did not feel she was in any danger from him if he should be released before facing trial on the original stalking charge – and now the bail breach allegation – on January 4.

“There is no badness in him, but he should not be so obsessive,” Mr Jackson quoted Ms Nelson’s attitude as being, adding that she’d said she felt in no physical danger from him should he be allowed his liberty over the festive season.

The QC admitted that his client might have a tendency to obsessiveness but there was no evidence that he would do Ms Nelson or anyone else any harm if released from custody.

However, the bail application was strongly opposed by fiscal depute Ziad al-Hassan.

He described Bryson as “a danger to women”, stating that he had, in the past, travelled abroad to avoid police detection and continued to evade officers when he returned to Scotland, eventually being traced to a Glasgow hotel before being arrested.

Mr al-Hassan added that Bryson had shown a disregard for court orders and argued that he should not be trusted to obey any future bail conditions.

The QC responded by saying that his client was now offering to surrender his passport to ensure he wouldn’t flee the country if granted bail over the festive season, but Sheriff Pattison refused the application, staing: “There is a pattern of behaviour that is concerning. There is a substantial risk of offending.”

He remanded Bryson back into custody to await trial in the new year.