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Court / Woman fined after row over land access

GRIEVANCES over access to land resulted in a fine for a Dunrossness woman when her case called at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday morning.

Sandra Irvine, of Boddam, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault aggravated by theft.

The 59-year-old admitted repeatedly grabbing the complainer’s hand while he was sitting in his car parked in a lay-by on the unclassified Dalsetter to Boddam road, attempting to remove his phone from his hand and then stealing his car keys, on 4 March this year.

Police were called and the keys were quickly recovered from Irvine’s address.

However, the case came to court after she challenged a police warning she had been given.

The court heard that the right of access to her land had been an ongoing issue for the last 15 years, with accusations made about fences damaged and gates being left open.

Irvine had raised the issue with both the isles’ MP and MSP but was told there was little they could do.

At the time of the offence, the complainer was sitting in his car after having set traps on her land to catch birds for ringing. She demanded for him to go, and the situation became awkward.

There was also disagreement on which land the offence had taken place, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said the issue was something his client “felt deeply about” and told the court that according to Irvine the complainer’s car was parked in a lay-by that was her land.

“My client accepts that she was wrong, but the car was parked on her land,” he said.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said that at the time of the offence, the complainer was in his car, and that car was parked in a lay-by.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank fined Irvine £300.


Space2face Shetland

Space2face Shetland is an independent and confidential service which uses Restorative Justice and the arts to bring those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication. We enable everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

If you would like to reach out to us, please contact us via e-mail or mobile 07564 832467.

If you would like to know more, visit our website, or our Facebook page #space2faceshetland.

The project is also currently fundraising to secure office space in Shetland’s brand-new creativity and wellness centre, The Mission. If you’re interested in getting involved, or making a donation, head over to



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