Tayside and Central Scotland

Absconded Castle Huntly prisoner waved knife at police

HMP Castle Huntly
Image caption Holland was serving his sentence at HMP Castle Huntly when he went on the run

A prisoner who absconded from an open jail brandished a knife at police officers who went to arrest him, a court has heard.

James Holland, who was serving an eight-year term at HMP Castle Huntly in Perthshire, walked out of the prison on 16 March 2011.

He was found the following day at an address in Monifieth by police.

Holland, 40, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice and assault.

Allegations that he attempted to stab one of the officers who found him were removed from the indictment.

Assault and robbery

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that four Tayside Police officers - Pcs Barry Stewart, Grant McGaughay, Dean Miller and Barry McIntosh - went to the house in an attempt to arrest him.

But when they turned up Holland held a knife at them before being subdued and arrested.

Holland, a prisoner at HMP Edinburgh, was jailed in 2006 at the High Court in Paisley over an assault and robbery.

A prison guard at Castle Huntly has also been accused of sheltering him after he absconded.

Christine Robertson, who lives on Reform Street in Dundee, is set to stand trial over allegations that she attempted to defeat the ends of justice.

Ms Robertson denies the charge.

It is alleged she allowed Holland to remain at her home to avoid being "lawfully apprehended".

Prosecutors allege she knew Holland was serving the lengthy jail term and should not have been allowed outside the prison, and that she "aided and abetted" him in absconding.

Case continued

Advocate Johnathan Crowe, defending Robertson, told the court the case was not yet ready for trial.

He said: "The Crown has additional disclosure to make to the defence.

"Progress was made in regard to agreement of certain evidence but there is additional work to be done."

Sheriff Tom Hughes continued Robertson's case to a further pre-trial hearing on Friday and continued her bail.

Holland was remanded in custody, with his sentencing deferred until Friday.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites