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Hill denies vandalising shop

SHETLAND independence campaigner Stuart Hill has denied vandalising a small shop in Cunningsburgh last month.

The 72 year old, of Bard View, Ocraquoy, Cunningsburgh, appeared in Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday to deny a charge of wilfully and recklessly destroying or damaging property at North Bridge Stores in his home village on 23 September.

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He is accused forcing open a side door of the building and causing damage to the door and its frame.

Hill, who was representing himself, initially entered the dock after stating that he was not submitting to the jurisdiction of the court.

He then entered into a discussion with Sheriff Philip Mann about his previously asserted belief that the court has no legitimacy because Shetland is not technically under the legal rule of Scotland or the UK.

However, Mann said Hill had “no mandate to speak for the people of Shetland” and that there was a “settled view” that the isles are happy to be part of the UK, referring to last year’s Scottish independence referendum results. 

“I’m not going to hear any rubbish from you – and it is complete and utter rubbish,” he added, stating that Hill’s thoughts were the concern of historians and not the present day.

Hill pleaded not guilty to the vandalism charge and was granted bail, with a trial set for 18 February with an intermediate diet on 20 January.

Before leaving the dock, Hill said he will no longer be pursuing the matter of jurisdiction during further court appearances as the issue has previously been dismissed within the Scottish legal system.

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