Record of 30th
January 2017 Recusal hearing.
As you read this, bear
in mind that the criteria for a judge to recuse himself are that if
a fair-minded and informed
observer would conclude that there was a real possibility that the
judge was biassed. The very fact that the sheriff (the judge in
Scottish lower courts) tried to limit the time for me to present my
case perverts the course of justice right from the start. You will
note that he made absolutely no response, but then, when faced with
criminal charges, one need not respond. This is how it went:
The hearing started with
my being required to go into the dock and answer the question “Are
you STUART ALAN HILL?” I questioned whether I needed to go
into the dock since I was not on trial, but simply told to “Go
in the box”.
The Sheriff then said
that he was giving me 20 minutes to state my case and no more. I
said he might change his mind when he heard what I had to say.
I started and this is
what I read, verbatim:
charges are that, on 14th
2016 and other dates, you acted with bias in the capacity of Sheriff
and conspired with others to pervert the course of justice.
These are matters of
extreme gravity and I will not be rushed. I will be making some
statements and asking some questions. As you have refused permission
for this hearing to be recorded, I will be writing down your
responses as we proceed in order that I have a true record.
am asking you to recuse yourself because I cannot expect a fair
trial with you presiding as sheriff.
I stated on the 18th
the doctrine of judicial recusal requires that you must
down in circumstances where there is bias or apparent bias. I intend
firstly that there is
bias or apparent bias by you towards me. The test for bias or
apparent bias is that a fair-minded and informed observer would
conclude that there was a real possibility that the judge was
biassed. I will show why your actions towards me demonstrate
secondly, that that
connected with a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. I
will show evidence of your involvement in a specific perversion of
the course of justice as a part of that conspiracy.
The matter concerns
hearings before the Lerwick Sheriff Court. I will go into some
detail, but will keep strictly to the point.
I made a Subject Access
Request to the Court on case No. LE15000550, the first of two
accusations against me of vandalism, both at the same locus. To
comply with the law a Subject Access Request must bring forth all
documents concerning me in connection with the matter specified. I
must therefore rely on the fact that all relevant documents have
been revealed to me. As a result of the Subject Access Request to
the court I was provided with these 6 documents (hand to usher).
Four of them related to that case and two to the contempt of court
case, No. PP16002183 (-044?). Because the documents are from two
different cases it already appears there has been an attempt to
conflate the two.
Looking in detail at the
C1 concerns the 14th
hearing. It does not record the fact that at that hearing I
challenged the court's jurisdiction on the basis that Shetland is
not part of Scotland nor that, after consulting with Sheriff Napier
and the Court of Session, you claimed to have jurisdiction on the
basis of the result of the Scottish independence referendum. Do you
remember that? (No response).
I was not at all happy
with this. The fact that you consulted with them and then put
forward an entirely different claim to jurisdiction than had been
established by those very persons in 2011, not only shows the
weakness of that claim and the need to abandon it, but contributes
evidence of conspiracy.
I want to go into detail
about the events of 20th January 2016. I’m going to be pretty
picky, but I need specific detail.
When I did not go into
the dock that day, I was pointing out that you had heard no proof of
your jurisdiction. You warned me that I would be in contempt of
court if I did not go into the dock. I started to say you would be
in breach of Section 204 of the 1995 Act if you put me in the cells
and you ordered me to be taken away. Is that your recollection? (No
The important question
is: did I appear in the court that day? I see you are not going to
If YES, then what gave
you grounds to withdraw bail on the basis that the court was not
satisfied that the accused would appear? (No response)”
At this point, I could
see there would be no response, so stopped asking questions.
STUART ALAN HILL appeared, the hearing could not begin.
The word 'appearance'
has a very specific meaning in legal terms. I have found it very
difficult to find a definition, but the Judiciary of Scotland gives
this on their website: “Appearance: The formal act whereby the
defender in an action intimates his intention to defend”. This
of course relates to civil cases, so in a criminal case, it would be
when the accused makes a plea. Is that correct?
Before that, the court
must have jurisdiction. In answer to the call from the court “number
23, STUART ALAN HILL”, the man commonly known as Stuart Hill
thinks: 'That sounds like me' and steps forward. He obeys the
command to enter the box, at which point he submits to the authority
of the court. He answers “Yes” to the question “Are
you STUART ALAN HILL?”. The court needs to know they have the
right person in front of them. At that point he has agreed to
act as the accused on the complaint and the man on the bench
can act as sheriff. Jurisdiction is established.
Before he entered the
dock he was the man commonly known as Stuart Hill and any
conversation between him and the man on the bench would be between
two men, not men acting in any agreed capacity.
In the past, in front of
Sheriff Napier, I had stood in the dock, but would only identify
myself as Stuart of the family Hill. This got me sent to the cells,
but before giving the order, the Sheriff turned to Mr. Mackenzie and
invited him to apply for a warrant for my arrest, as he should under
Section 150 of the 1995 Act, but it was not until some weeks later
that I found out I had been arrested for non-appearance. Although we
were speaking to each other, he could not act as sheriff until I had
agreed to submit to his jurisdiction. The only way to proceed was to
grant a warrant for my arrest – as would have been done had I
not turned up for the hearing. The point is that it is not something
the Sheriff can initiate – the warrant is granted at the
request of the prosecutor.
January, the proper course of action was for Mr. Mackenzie to apply
for a warrant for my arrest - then I could be taken to the cells.
No such warrant has been
revealed to me, so I must assume it does not exist.
Obviously, if I have not
appeared, I have not agreed to act as the accused and jurisdiction
has not been established, so it seems you have acted without
authority as a judge to deprive me of my liberty on your own
The following matters
mentioned in document C2 were not part of the alleged hearing in the
that you revoked bail,
that you delayed
consideration of the contempt matter,
that Mr. Mackenzie put
forward a motion for witness evidence to be conducted by way of
video link and
that the court granted
is my suspicion that all of that was done before
hearing in the cells. It was certainly not done in my presence. That
being the case, it was not possible to recall me to the court room
in public because all that business had already been done.
It is my belief that the
hearing in the cells was an elaborate sham and the record of it is a
I was remanded until the
trial date on the vandalism charge. In what matter was Mr.Mackenzie
asking for evidence by video link? (No response)
So there was a plan to
have a hearing on the contempt matter while I was in Peterhead
prison, where I would have no access to any law books or to a
computer and could more easily be found guilty.
Unfortunately that plan
was upset by my request for a bail review, so a quick re-think was
Referring again to
document C2. If I had not appeared in court on 20th
January, this document purports to be a record of what occurred in
the police cells.
C2 only makes mention of
Lerwick Sheriff Court. We must then infer that the police cells are
part of the court.
I'm not sure if that is
in their entirety, or only the one you happen to be in at the time.
In the police cell
hearing I no more made an appearance than I had done in the court, I
had been required to strip and dress in anti self-harm clothing
because I refused to identify myself to the police. I had no
identifying documents on me. Unless a police officer took the
personal responsibility to identify me as STUART ALAN HILL by
looking at my face, they had no idea who I was.
When you and others came
into the cell, I did not identify myself as STUART ALAN HILL and I
made no plea. I believe that is why the court records, not that I
pled guilty, but that I (quote) 'indicated an intention to adhere to
the plea or pleas of not guilty' (unquote). They are not the same.
Can you say how I indicated that intention? Can you explain how I
made a plea if I had not identified myself? (No response)
So, document C2 is a
I have made a Subject
Access Request to Police Scotland relating to cases LE15000550 and
this case LE16000107. It gives full details of my interactions with
the police. There is no mention of my being in the cells that day,
nor of my being transferred to Peterhead Prison. As I said, I did
not identify myself. As far as the police are concerned, I was not
there. G4S did not know who they were transporting, unless a police
officer had presumed to have identified me without any
documentation. Peterhead prison did not know who they were being
asked to accept and actually put me back in the van to be returned
to Lerwick before changing their minds and accepting me – on
what authority, I don't know.
In the absence of due
process you personally have authorised my wrongful detention in the
In the absence of due
process you personally have wrongfully authorised my detention in
In any case, 4 weeks
remand in Peterhead prison was unnecessarily harsh and oppressive in
view of my age and the fact that I present no risk to the public. I
can only regard it as personally vindictive.
now to 5th
have already established at the intermediate diet that there were
two separate hearings on 5th
2016, the bail review hearing and the contempt of court hearing.
They were separate cases and both were listed in the court rolls for
that day. I had applied to the court and had been granted a bail
review hearing. I was not notified of any contempt of court hearing.
This is obviously not part of your duties, but it indicates that
others may have been involved in what I believe to have been a
I was brought into the
court room from the police cells in double handcuffs, which was
unbefitting an innocent man. You have said you recognise that it was
wrong, but I was surprised to find that instructions went out to
police in Scotland to that effect in 2012, so there can have been no
excuse for you not to have known. Allowing the use of handcuffs on
an innocent man in court was not something you should have allowed
and can only be regarded as more evidence of personal bias.
the bail review hearing you made some remarks about contempt of
court, but the hearing was about the bail review, so those remarks,
were, have no relevance to that hearing, but appear to have been
made so as to give the impression that there had been a hearing on
contempt. That was certainly the impression given to the press -
either then, or in my absence after the bail review hearing. The
bail review hearing ended with my being told I was a free man and
being led away to police cells in double handcuffs. I should have
been released immediately, but endured a further two hours of
incarceration. I protested to the police that you had told me I was
a free man, but they would not release me.
During that time and
after my leaving the court, the contempt of court hearing appears to
have taken place in my absence. It was impossible for me to have
been there because I was in the police cells.
The two documents, C5
and C6 appear to be the only documents recording this case. It must
be my reasonable presumption that, either the two cases were
regarded as being so closely connected that documentation for the
contempt case needed to be included in material requested on the
Subject Access Request for the vandalism case, or that these two
documents were slipped into the Subject Access Request material to
give the impression that due process had been followed on the
If the first, then two
documents can hardly be accepted as representing a full record of
the case. If the latter, there is clear evidence of conspiracy and
intent to pervert the course of justice.
As far as I can find,
there are no practice guidelines on contempt of court in the
Scottish system. The 2015 Practice Directions in English Law are
very strict and extremely detailed. Contempt of court is a serious
matter and reading these practice directions makes it clear that an
accusation of contempt is not to be made lightly not to be taken
lightly. I completely understand that English law and Scots law are
not the same, but since the same legislation covers both
jurisdictions, there will be equal gravity in each.
Chapter 28-38 states that (quote) 'the standard of proof in all
forms of contempt is the criminal standard' (unquote). There must be
a criminal intent. In my case exactly the opposite was true –
I was trying to uphold the law by requiring the court to hear proof
of its jurisdiction. Once again, Archbold deals with English law,
but that does not change the fundamental principle - contempt must
be proved to a criminal standard. There must be a mens
matter whether English law or Scots, all
this of course presupposes that a hearing has taken place - an
absolute requirement before a conviction can be made.
charge of contempt of court must be proved to criminal standards, so
some detailed argument must have been put, there must have been a
forward and I must have had the opportunity to defend myself. Had I
been there and with advance warning, I would have been able to
adequately defend myself against such a ridiculous charge.
was no intimation of the contempt case to me. There was no hearing
at which the charge was put to me. I made no plea. I was not given
the opportunity to defend myself. I was not even present – and
yet document C5 says I was
and then says I was sentenced to 28 days on charge 1.
This is another
blatantly false document.
There is no document
specifying what charge 1 is, but document C1 states “The
accused pled not guilty to charge 1”, C4 states “The
accused pled not guilty to charge 1”, C2 states “The
accused indicated an intention to adhere to the plea or pleas
previously tendered in relation to charge 1”, C5 states
“The court sentenced the accused to 28 days imprisonment on
charge 1”. It seems to me and, I think to any
reasonable person, that the references to 'charge 1' are intended to
confuse and to be taken as the same in all the documents. The final
document, C6 is the warrant for my imprisonment for contempt of
court. I will come to a detailed look at that in a minute.”
Around this point the
sheriff interrupts to say that my 20 minutes is up. I say I still
have more to say and continue.
to documents received from Peterhead Prison in response to a Subject
Access Request. (hand to usher).
P1 is an email from Jan
Campbell to me in the prison, confirming my application for a bail
review and my confirming that I want the hearing to be in the court.
The hearing was for a bail review. Nothing is said on this or any
other document about my attending the court to face a charge of
contempt, even though, as I said, it appeared on the court rolls for
that day. It seems I was walking into an ambush.
The rest of these
documents concern what happened after the bail review
hearing, while I was waiting to be released as a free man. I will
relate what I believe to have happened during this period. Some of
it is speculation, but is the best construction I can put on the
is an email from Jan Campbell on 5th
It concerns the vandalism case and certifies the 20th
warrant is no longer in force. I presume this would be normal
procedure and should have enabled my immediate release when the case
was deserted by the Crown.
It is my speculation
that the back-dated conviction was applied in the expectation that
it was simply a matter for the court; and back-dating it while I was
on remand on a different matter was a convenient way for the
sentence to have been served with no further ado.
If that were the case,
unfortunately G4S appear to have put a spanner in the works with
document P3. There is a section for them to state how the court has
dealt with me. If they had reported that the case had been deserted,
as it was, everything would have been neat and tidy from the court's
point of view and I would have been released almost immediately. The
back-dated sentence would simply be a matter for the court to record
as an administrative exercise and all would be done and dusted. The
pretend conviction would be between me and the court and nobody
would be any the wiser.
G4S report that I have been sentenced to 28 days backdated to 20th
2016. Peterhead appear to be taken aback by this. This is the first
time they have heard of any conviction. Having been advised that the
original warrant was no longer in force, they now need documentation
to accept and release me for this new sentence. Even a back-dated
sentence has to go through their system.
to have been a bit of a panic. P 4 and 5 show a flurry of 4 emails
in the space of 11 minutes (roughly 3½
between each one) starting with a request from the prison for a
warrant to cover the phantom sentence. The court apparently does not
realise the prison needs another warrant in addition to the original
remand warrant. When the penny drops there is a gap of 12 minutes
before the new warrant is sent. It seems this was the time needed to
make up the warrant for the phantom conviction.
There must already have
been a request from Peterhead prison for a copy of the contempt
conviction, but I do not have it. I only have the ones starting with
a reply to that first request. Those emails read:
On P4: at 11:18: Stuart
Retsis, Lerwick Sheriff Court: “Please find attached a copy of
the imprisonment warrant for the above as requested. The
original would have been given to G4S to allow them to convey the
accused to prison.” As an aside, Stuart Retsis does not seem
to understand the difference between imprisonment and remand.
at 11:23 Anna Watt,
Scottish Prisons: “I cannot authorise liberation until I have
the Convicted warrant of 28 days backdated to 20.01.16.”
Then P5: at 11:27: Janet
Campbell, Lerwick Sheriff Court: “I can email a signed warrant
to you from 20 January” (Presumably she is suggesting making
up and signing a new version). She goes on: “however G4S staff
took the original with them when Mr. Hill was remanded. I am
assuming you have not received this warrant?” Seemingly
holding me without a warrant is nothing remarkable.
With barely concealed
frustration, after all this is her third request:
11:29: Anna Watt, Scottish Prisons marked OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE: “It's
not the 20th
warrant I need. It's the Convicted warrant that was issued today
that I need, showing the backdated sentence of 28 days.”
Then 12 minutes pause to
at 11:41: Janet
Campbell, Lerwick Sheriff Court: “Please find the attached
and at 11:44: Anna Watt,
Scottish Prisons marked OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE: “That's perfect
I will now ask you to
compare documents P7 and C6. It is my assumption that P7, the one
supplied by the prison, is the original and C6, as is notated at the
top, purports to be a copy.
The document was
evidently prepared in haste. Both versions are headed “Under
the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.” The alleged
charge is contempt of court - nothing to do with that Act.
Both documents state
that the “offence of which convicted” was '1. Contempt
of Court Act 1981'. That of course is a piece of legislation, not an
offence. However, it leads to the question: which section of the
Contempt of Court Act 1981 was I charged with breaching? Do you mind
telling me? (No response)
I can find no section of
the Contempt of Court Act 1981 with which I could be charged in the
You knew, or should have
known that there are no provisions of the Contempt of Court Act 1981
that apply to my actions in court that day.
Document P7 carries the
name Jan Campbell and is signed. It authorises officers of law to
convey me to the prison of HMP &YOI Grampian and for the
detention therein for 28 days. (full stop) (and then apparently
added) to be backdated to 20 January 2016.
C6 is unsigned, but
carries the name Jan Hunter. It purports to be a copy, but it has
extra text not on the original, saying the court has found the
accused in contempt of court. This is clearly not a copy as claimed,
but appears to have been made up for the Subject Access Request.”
Again, the sheriff says
I've had enough time. I say I'm nearly finished and continue.
are what I can only describe, in the circumstances, as false
gets worse. All prisoners with a short sentence serve half their
sentence, which should have meant my release on 2nd
not the 5th.
gets even worse. Because the false sentence was backdated, the
prison then has had to falsify its
I was released on 5th
but P8 records me as having been involved in 'Industry Activity' on
when I wasn't even there.
It gets worse still. The
police records contain a list of my convictions. There is no mention
of contempt of court. The list of previous convictions supplied to
me with the original complaint lacks any mention of contempt.
Even the Extract
Conviction Report, in common with the phantom warrants, is headed
“Under the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995”,
which has nothing to say about contempt of court. The name of the
accused is recorded as HILL, Stuart, not STUART ALAN HILL as on the
rest of the documentation. Are these even one and the same person?
It seems this whole case
really is a phantom fabrication and seemingly the conspiracy knows
When you add these
factors, the overall pervasiveness of the conspiracy becomes clear:
There were some other
points on my list but I omitted them in order to get to the summary:
if I can summarise:
is a conspiracy to prevent the question of whether Shetland is part
of Scotland being raised in the courts and you have played your part
You have been involved
in a false charge with no legislation under which it can have been
brought, a fabricated hearing at which I was not present, a false
conviction, a false sentence and a false warrant.
Court records have been
records have been falsified
was wrongfully detained and wrongfully imprisoned at your personal
I asked for a trial by a jury of my peers, both you and Mr.
Mackenzie declared with some glee that this is not English law. I
have been challenging the authority of the state and Scots law
dictates that I can only be tried by the state. Even you must be
able to see the irony and injustice.
no court has been shown proof of its jurisdiction in any of the
cases in which I have been involved, all those proceedings are void
and incurably void. You keep telling me I should employ a solicitor,
but, apart from being the best way to drain my pockets and for you
to keep me under control, no solicitor could question what I have
been questioning and being legally represented removes what should
be the protection of Section 204. You have told me there is remedy
for me in the process, but when the proceedings are void, it is as
if they never happened. There is nothing for a higher judge to
review, but I can
on the fact that prior proceedings are void if it comes to any
No fair-minded and
informed person could be left in any doubt that you have acted with
bias or apparent bias in cases in which I have been involved.
I now have a conviction
for contempt of court and a prison record. Will the court quash that
conviction and ensure the prison record is expunged?”
There followed a
statement by the sheriff in which he said that procedural matters
were nothing to do with him, that he had taken the judicial oath and
had acted at all times in accordance with it. He pointed out that,
even if he had made a judgment against me in the past, that did not
indicate any bias. I responded by saying it was not the fact of any
judgment, but that he had presided over a hearing of which I had not
intimation, at which I had no opportunity to defend myself because I
was not present and at which I had been convicted of contempt of
court and given a prison sentence.
This had no effect and
he ended proceedings by saying he was not going to recuse himself.