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Former Northern Isles Westminster election candidate jailed

Stuart Hill in Kirkwall in 2017, ahead of that year’s Westminster elections.

A 77-year-old Shetland man has been jailed for two months, after a passage from a book he authored revealed that he illegally records court proceedings.

Hill’s crime was discovered by the sheriff presiding over the latest calling of a trial at Kirkwall Sheriff Court, in which Hill is accused of failing to declare his expenses, after standing for election to Westminster for Orkney and Shetland in 2017.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Richard McFarlane said he had spotted a passage in Hill’s book, Stolen Isles: Shetland’s True Status, in which the author claimed to record court proceedings. Asked if he was actively recording his case in court at the time, Hill confirmed that he was.

Hill appeared back in court today, charged with contempt of court. It was proposed that if he deleted the previous day’s recording from his device — a Blackberry phone — then it would “purge” the contempt of court charge. Given a number of hours to consider this, he refused this compromise, stating that he did not recognise the sheriff or court’s authority.

As well as being sentenced to prison, Hill was also ordered to forfeit his recording device to the police.

Hill’s trial continues on March 4.

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