A SOVEREIGNTY campaigner in Shetland who has questioned the authority of the legal system has been found to be in contempt of court.
Stuart Hill, of Cunningsburgh, was released on bail and had his sentence deferred for three months when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court from custody on Friday afternoon.
The 80-year-old was ordered by Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle not to enter Lerwick Sheriff Court during this time unless under lawful authority.
Hill had been taken into custody following a hearing on Wednesday relating to Sandra Irvine, 60, of Boddam, who denies shouting at swearing and two people on roads near her home on 28 November last year.
He previously told court at an earlier hearing that he wanted to speak on her behalf as a power of attorney.
At court on Wednesday Hill confirmed he had published a “statement of truth” document regarding Irvine’s hearing in July, in which he alleged that there had been “miscarriages of justice” in her previous appearance, while questioning the integrity of the court.
The document also contained a verbatim account of what was said at the July hearing.
On Wednesday Hill confirmed he recorded the proceedings of that hearing, which is against the law.
Friday’s hearing, which had been brought forward from Monday (7 August), was designed to establish whether Hill had been in contempt of court.
He confirmed again that he had recorded the Irvine hearing in July, and had published his statement of truth on his website.
But Hill said for there to be contempt of court, there has to be contempt, and a court.
“If either is absent, there can be no contempt of court,” he said.
Regarding his statement, which was also sent to resident Sheriff Ian Cruickshank, Hill claimed its contents were truthful – and therefore not in contempt.
“If a statement is true, it is self-evident it cannot be contemptuous,” he said.
The 80-year-old reiterated his claim that a “false court” is operating in Lerwick and therefore is involved in “fraud”.
He then said the Sovereign Nation of Shetland, which he leads, has allodial claims over the court building, as well as Lerwick Police Station, and their land.
Hill believes that everyone in Shetland who owns their house or land is sovereign in their own right, and that the court has no authority.
Sheriff Principal Pyle said it was clear that Hill had been in contempt of court.
“What you have never realised…is that you are not that important,” he said.
The Sheriff Principal said what was important was that Hill tried to interfere in court proceedings.
He noted that Hill has been to prison before on similar matters but conceded another stint in custody was likely to not make “any difference”.
Sheriff Principal Pyle, who appeared via videolink, said he believed Hill would continue with his “misplaced views” – and suggested he knows “quite frankly nothing” about udal law.
Sentence was deferred until 1 November, at which time the next steps will be decided.
In the meantime Hill is barred from entering Lerwick Sheriff Court for three months, unless ordered to. He was warned he would be removed by police if he does try to enter the building.
“I understand that and I respect that,” Hill said.
He was also advised not to interfere with any other court proceedings.
“It is probably the case that you will simply ignore me,” Sheriff Principal Pyle said.
Hill also said he would look to appeal the decision.
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