NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Trump golf course urination case starts

Rohan Beyts
Image caption Rohan Beyts' case is being heard in Edinburgh

A privacy case against Trump International Golf Clubs Scotland is under way at a small claims court.

Rohan Beyts is accusing the company of breaching data protection law by filming her without her permission or notice.

She claims she was filmed by male employees as she urinated in sand dunes while out walking at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire a year ago.

Trump International has denied the claims.

The company was run by Donald Trump before he became the US president.

Medical condition

Ms Beyts told the court in Edinburgh that she had gone walking with a friend in April last year and had to pass through the Trump International Golf Club to get access to the beach.

The 62-year-old said that while on the beach she had gone into the dunes after realising that, due to a medical condition, she needed the toilet urgently.

Image caption Donald Trump ran the company before he became US president

She said she had taken notice of Mountaineering Scotland's guidelines for what to do if you need to urinate outside, and that she would have been horrified if anyone had seen her.

Ms Beyts, from Montrose in Angus, told the court: "I needed to go as a matter of urgency. I was crouching down in the dune area. I was covered by Marram grass once I crouched down.

"There was no golfers visible."

'Bullying act'

The retired social worker also said the civil action was about a "mixture of things."

She added: "Don't be intimidated. Please exercise your right to roam. And it's about not being bullied. I feel being filmed secretly is a bullying act."

Three days after the incident, police officers arrived at her house to charge her with urinating in a public place that could cause annoyance.

After speaking to police on a further occasion, she was told three men had mobile phone footage of her urinating.

The court also heard from the golf course irrigation technician who said he had taken a photograph with his mobile phone of Ms Beyts urinating.

'Criminal offence'

But Edward Irvine, 23, said he had not filmed Ms Beyts.

He added: "I took her picture for evidence that she was urinating in a public place. I believed that it was a criminal offence to do that."

Mr Irvine then gave a statement about what he had witnessed to a police officer.

The green keeper also told the court that he had seen golfers urinating on the course. He said those golfers went into bushes before going to the toilet.

He said Ms Beyts did not do this and he was able to photograph her.

Ms Beyts was reported to the procurator fiscal, but no action was taken against her. She in turn launched a claim for damages against Trump International.

The hearing continues.

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