A retired judge and one of the Queen’s officials in Scotland was locked up behind bars by police overnight before appearing in the dock in his former court next day accused of being five-times the drink drive limit.
Richard Sidgwick, 71, a deputy lord lieutenant of Inverness-shire, was also charged with being in possession of a knife.
Sidgwick, who lives in a white-washed mansion with electric gates on the driveway entrance at the village of Achnacarry near Fort William, is former factor of West Highland Estates owned by the prime minister’s clan chief Donald Cameron of Locheil.
Locheil, as the Cameron clan chief is titled, is a neighbour at Achnacarry Castle of his one-time factor. It is understood he recommended the chartered surveyor to the Queen as one of his deputies.
Achnacarry Castle was taken over by the Army during WWII and made the commando training HQ in Scotland.
A few miles away stands the commando memorial with three sculpted commandoes apparently looking over their former training grounds.
It was Sidgwick, in his role as a deputy lord lieutenant, who took the salute at nearby Fort William on Remembrance Sunday last November. He regularly attends the church at the local village of Roy Bridge.
The land expert for several years sat on the bench at Fort William Sheriff Court as an Honorary Sheriff but is now retired as a judge.
Sidgwick, of Milestone Hill House, appeared from custody before Sheriff Richard Davidson at his former court (on May 12) charged that on the previous day in his home village and elsewhere he drove with a breath-alcohol count of 110. The legal limit is 22.
He was also accused that at his home at 8.30pm that day he refused to reveal to police the identity of the person who had been driving his car.
He was further charged at Fort William Police Station with possession of a knife.
Defence lawyer Hamish Melrose pleaded not guilty on his client’s behalf to all three charges.
Trial was fixed for August 15 with interim diet on July 19.