Thursday, 29 October 2009

Sentanced Before Chrages Read Out

It's the sort of activity you'd expect in an kangaroo court, not Perth Sheriff Court.

However, yesterday Sheriff Robert McCreadie sentenced Redding resident Lance Barrell to jail for 80 days before hearing the charges against him. After court staff stopped the Reliance guards taking the accused off to the cells, the Sheriff said "I suppose, for technical reasons, I should hear the Crown narrative." He then on hearing the fact upheld his original judgement.

Sadly this isn't the first incident that this Sheriff has been guilty of. Only last month he was forced to release a man sentenced to four and a half months for breaking an entering after also failing to follow procedure and hearing the prosecution read the charges. There have also be a catalogue of incidents involving McCreadie in the chair.

It is not merely a technical reason but a judicial reason that the charges are read out in open court. The failure of this Sheriff yet again surely must call into doubt his competency to carry out the role.

1 comment:

  1. I find the narrative in the report of this a little confusing. It would seem to suggest that the accused had plead guilty - and the sheriff simply imposed an 80 day sentence without examining the Crown's case. An alternative account would seem too bizarre to be probable - that McCreadie spontaneously found the accused guilty without pausing to consider the details.

    Even so, pretty rum stuff - such that Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights almost certainly comes into play. In particular, the fact that the narrated offences did not alter the sheriff's mind on what sentence to impose could - on a perfectly reasonable construction - give an appearance that he was not behaving and giving an appearance of the appropriate "independent and impartial" judicial manner under that article.

    Thus, even assuming I'm right and yon convicted bloke pled guilty - methinks there may be an appeal on sentencing emerging from the skeleton facts as they appear here.

    Also, lets not forget McCreadie's other recent forays into socially unacceptable conduct in court...