Aien v Procurator Fiscal, Livingston

Criminal evidence – Threatening or abusive behaviour – Credibility and reliability of witnesses. Sheriff Appeal Court: Allowing an appeal against conviction by an appellant who was convicted of a charge which included allegations of uttering threats of violence and repeatedly striking a car's windscreen with a metal bar, although the charge did not libel damage to the car, the court concluded that this was, exceptionally, a case in which it could look behind the sheriff's assessment of the evidence of the Crown witnesses, and that the sheriff did not give an adequate explanation for accepting the complainer and his partner's evidence; it reiterated the importance of judges at first instance giving a full account of the evidence led, making discrete findings in fact to cover the relevant evidence on which the decision was based, and the reasons for making the findings in fact.

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