Trial witness Amanda Britt jailed for contempt of court
A court witness, who repeatedly disrupted the trial of her partner, has been jailed for four months.
Amanda Britt (32) was giving evidence via a video-link when she became verbally abusive towards a prosecutor and then swore at the sheriff when he tried to calm her down.
She shouted “F*** off” then stormed out of video facility in Glasgow Sheriff Court.
A warrant was granted for her arrest and she was brought to the trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Wednesday to continue giving evidence in person.
She then blurted out in front of the jury that her partner David Kinloch had previously been jailed for killing his girlfriend.
Britt, formerly of Dunfermline but more recently living in Glasgow, had done this on previous occasions during trials in Kirkcaldy bringing those proceedings to a halt.
There was a defence motion on this occasion for Kinloch’s trial to be deserted but this was rejected.
Depute fiscal Sarah Lumsden said it had been a “deliberate attempt” by Britt to end the trial.
Britt was remanded in custody on Wednesday, prompting another foul-mouthed tirade. She was brought back to Dunfermline today (Monday) for a contempt of court hearing.
She had written a two-page letter to Sheriff Craig McSherry apologising for her behaviour before Sheriff Charles MacNair during last week’s trial.
Defence solicitor Karen McLean said, “She’s written a letter which is an apology to all extents and purposes.”
She submitted a psychiatric report which stated her client suffers from “extreme emotional instability and impulsiveness”.
The solicitor described her client as “an unusual individual” and said her behaviour could be “odd” when under stress.
Sheriff McSherry said he had been elsewhere in the court building but had still heard Britt’s outbursts.
“I heard it from the corridor, the shouting and swearing over this video link. I heard it, everybody did,” he added.
Finding Britt guilty, the sheriff commented, “This was a pretty appalling contempt of court in front of the jurors in a trial involving someone you are close to.”
He jailed her for four months.
Meanwhile, Kinloch will be sentenced later this month after being convicted of three charges following last week’s trial.
The jury found that on 30th December 2017 at Craigmyle Street, Dunfermline, Kinloch behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by repeatedly shouting, swearing, repeatedly utter threats of violence towards Kieran Lock whilst in possession of a knife and pursued him.
He was also found guilty of being unlawfully in possession of a knife.
He had admitted a third charge that in Paton Street on the same night he repeatedly shouted, swore, challenged police officers to fight, uttered threats towards police and threatened to set his dog on them.
After the jury delivered their verdict, solicitor Ian Houston said his client had faced “victimisation” and was “hounded” in Fife because of his past.
Britt had been allowed to give evidence by video link at the trial because she said she was “fearful” of going to Dunfermline.