The Cunningsburgh Shop:
exactly imposing, but it's a start!
In September 2015 the
village shop in Cunningsburgh, the village where I live, came
up for sale at auction. It was a repossession sale by RBS.
Having for some time been looking for a territorial base for
The Sovereign Nation of Shetland (SNS) and sensing the
possibility of another court case, I went to the auction and
put in the highest bid. The reasoning behind that was that I
didn't mind locking horns with the bank, my old adversary, but
I did not want to involve anyone purchasing in good faith.
As soon as I got home, I
cancelled the deposit cheque and sent the auctioneers a letter
saying I claimed the allodial title of the shop on the basis
of my earlier claim for the whole of Shetland. My intention
was to provoke the bank into civil action against me for
another chance to challenge the jurisdiction of the courts.
On 23 September I took
possession. Although the front door was locked, the side door
only had a piece of wood leaning against the inside to keep it
closed. I went in, put a notice in the front window saying it
was the property of The Sovereign Nation of Shetland and not
part of Scotland or the UK. I secured the side door with a
padbolt and padlock. All this was in broad daylight in the
afternoon in full view of any passers-by on the busy main road
to the airport - hardly the actions of a criminal.
I then wrote to Royal Bank
of Scotland, Shetland Islands Council, The First Minister of
Scotland, The Prime Minister, Police Scotland, Registers of
Scotland and Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service to inform
them of my actions and that The Sovereign Nation of Shetland
claimed the allodial title of the shop.
I followed this up with a
public notice in The Shetland Times - there could be no doubt
that The Sovereign nation of Shetland was making a serious
On 25 September I had an
appointment to meet Chief Inspector Lindsay Tulloch on a
matter relating to the Carmichael case. As soon as I arrived
at 3pm I was ambushed - taken into custody on suspicion of
vandalism at the shop. Although I pointed out that the matter
of ownership was a civil matter and nothing to do with the
police and that I could hardly be accused of vandalising my
own property, I was arrested, then released on an undertaking
to appear in court in October.
Meanwhile, the police (or somebody working under their authority) had broken into the shop, taken down my notice and resecured the door with a new padlock, which was given to the second bidder at the auction, a local solicitor. What the police were doing interfering in what was obviously a civil matter is anybody's guess.
preparation, I sent the court a Notice
of Lack of Jurisdiction. As that document points out, the
court cannot proceed without hearing proof of its jurisdiction
from the party bringing the case.
Before going into the dock
I protested that the court had no jurisdiction. I was
immediately arrested and taken to police cells, where a
hearing was held in the cell (!) and I was remanded
until the next hearing in 4 weeks time. Within 30 minutes I
was in the prison van on my way to Peterhead jail, where I
spent 2 weeks before getting a bail hearing.
At that hearing, the
procurator fiscal dropped the case and I was released. The
small matter of my having spent two weeks in jail was
explained by the fact that, had I been convicted of contempt
of court, the sentence would have been four weeks - I'd served
two, so the sentence was served. The fact that I had neither
been accused, nor convicted of contempt did not seem to
The problem was that I had
a whole lot of evidence against the police and the procurator
fiscal, which was now effectively buried; the court had not
heard any proof of its jurisdiction, so what to do next?
The obvious answer was to
re-take possession of the shop. I cannot release any details
of what happened next, except to say that I was again taken
into custody by the police and am once again accused of
vandalism. Extraordinary bail conditions stipulate that I must
not challenge the jurisdiction of the court and that I must
not contact the court, the procurator fiscal, or any of the
court officials. Everybody's a bit jumpy.
I can now release documentation referring to the first case,
which you will find here.
UPDATE: I re-took the shop.
The police barged in and arrested me again and charged me with
vandalism again. In this new case I've asked for more
information to be disclosed, the procurator fiscal refused, I
asked the Sheriff to review the refusal and he, predictably
came down on the side of the PF. I appealed to the Sheriff
Appeal Court, where I set out the whole of what I wanted and
why. I lost the appeal, but the important thing is that all
the information I had from the first case was locked up and I
faced a prison sentence if I revealed it. It's now in the
public domain, so I can publish all the sordid details.
text of my Statement to The Sheriff Appeal Court is here.
hearings on the second alleged vandalism culminated with a
preliminary hearing on 18th January 2017 - the day before my
birthday – at which I started to give reasons why the
Sheriff should recuse himself for reasons of conspiracy to
pervert the course of justice. Because I had a lot to say,
that was cut short. I was promised a full hearing and a
hearing to arrange a date for a full hearing arranged for the
At that hearing I was told I would be allowed 20 minutes to
present my case – somehow this was not being taken
'full hearing' was on the 30th
and started with the sheriff telling me he would stick
strictly to the 20 minutes . I said he might want to change
his mind when he heard what I had to say. While at the
previous hearing he had been interacting with me, this time
there was no response while I gave evidence and proof of his
wrongful arrest and a hearing for contempt of court of which I
was not notified, was not charged, had no opportunity to
defend myself (because I was in the police cells), was
convicted and sentence to 28 days imprisonment. I was
completely shocked at the blatant and arrogant disregard for
justice. At the end he said he had done everything according
to law and to his judicial oath. How he equated that with the
conspiracy and perversion of the course of justice I had
described is beyond me. The record of the proceedings is here.