Blackmail accused’s legal team withdraws
A NINETEEN-year-old woman who is accused of extorting more than £550 from a Dundee businessman has had her trial postponed after her legal team withdrew from acting for her.
At Dundee Sheriff Court, Jim Laverty, who appeared on behalf of Aberdeen law firm Mathers & Co, told Sheriff Derek Reekie that the principal agents had not been able to obtain certain information for a legal aid application from Aisling Ironside, of Nellfield Place in Aberdeen, and were therefore seeking to withdraw from acting on her behalf.
Ironside denies she extorted the money in exchange for not revealing the businessman’s infidelities to the media and his family.
Mr Laverty told the court: “Those instructing me advise that certain vouching had to be presented by her for the legal aid application.
“This has not been done and they say they have no option but to withdraw.”
Fiscal depute Lynne Mannion told the court the Crown had been moving for an adjournment of the trial in any case as the complainer, Mr A, was unable to attend for the trial diet on July 13.
Sheriff Reekie granted the Crown motion and also granted leave for Mathers & Co to withdraw from acting for Ironside.
A notional trial diet was set down for July 13 and Ironside was ordained to appear at court then.
The teenager denies that, between November 25-29 last year, at a street in Broughty Ferry and elsewhere, with the intention of menacing Mr A and putting him in a state of fear and alarm and apprehension of public humiliation and personal reputational harm if he did not pay her £550 in money, she threatened to expose his infidelity to the media and family members and extorted the cash from him by threats.
At a previous hearing, the legal team representing Mr A had successfully applied to the Court of Session for reporting restrictions on the case.
The restrictions mean the businessman cannot be identified other than by the name Mr A.