Police found ‘landowner’ with knives
A self-declared landowner and farmer called the police out to deal with poachers on his property.
However, there was never any proof found that Thomas Johnstone owned any of the land he claimed was his and he was arrested for having two knives in his possession.
Johnstone, 47, of Brucefield Terrace, Lumphinnans, appeared on trial from custody at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. He denied that on May 7 last year at the A92 and B0149 Lochgelly interchange, a public place, on the embankment of Loch Gelly, he was unlawfully in possession of a sheath knife and a lock knife.
The trial heard police had found Johnstone in possession of the knives after he called them to say he was a landowner and people were poaching.
Johnstone, who lives in a council house, told the court he owned a farm in Auchtertool, having built it. He also claimed that at one time “all the farmers got together and gave me pieces of land”. This included the path down to the lochside he claimed was “an ancient right of way but not a public path”.
The accused, who likes to be known as “Thomas Johnstone Esquire”, said he had no documentation to prove he owned any of the land.
Sheriff Craig McSherry was unimpressed by Johnstone’s claims and told him: “I don’t accept you own the land and there’s no evidence you’re a farmer or involved in any way in farming.”
He found Johnstone guilty. Defence solicitor Martin McGuire said his client was on methadone and previously had been subject to a drug treatment and testing order.
The sheriff called for reports and Johnstone was released on bail until sentencing on October 3.