Scotland

Sheriff suspended over fund probe

A part-time sheriff has been suspended by Scotland's senior judge after he was linked to a company at the centre of a controversial liquidation.

Peter Watson last sat on the bench on 13 February at Perth Sheriff Court.

He was suspended by the Lord President, Lord Gill, three days later.

Mr Watson was formerly a partner of the Glasgow firm Levy and MacRae which is being sued by accountants Ernst and Young following the collapse of the Heather Capital hedge fund.

Mr Watson was a director of Mathon Ltd, a company which was affiliated to the collapsed fund.

'Public confidence'

In a statement the Judicial Office for Scotland said: "On Friday 13 February we were made aware of the existence of a summons containing certain allegations against a number of individuals including part-time sheriff Peter Watson.

"The Lord President's Private Office immediately contacted Mr Watson and he offered not to sit as a part-time sheriff on a voluntary basis, pending the outcome of those proceedings.

"Mr Watson e-mailed a copy of the summons to the Lord President's Private Office on Saturday 14 February. On Monday 16 February the Lord President considered the matter.

"Having been shown the summons, the Lord President concluded that in the circumstances a voluntary de-rostering was not appropriate and that suspension was necessary in order to maintain public confidence in the judiciary.

"Mr Watson was therefore duly suspended from office on Monday 16 February 2015."

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