Convict looks to privately proscecute Crown laywer

Mr McDonald, of Stirling, was convicted of fraud at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in April 2009 for impersonating a lawyer.
Mr McDonald, of Stirling, was convicted of fraud at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in April 2009 for impersonating a lawyer.
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A CONVICTED criminal is planning to appeal to the UK supreme court after appeal judges ruled that his friend couldn’t address them about bringing a private prosecution against the Lord Advocate.

Russell Stirton, 54, wanted permission from the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Thursday to privately prosecute Scotland’s most senior Crown lawyer Frank Mulholland QC.

The controversial businessman - who was the subject of a £1 million proceeds of crime seizure in January 2012 - believes that Mr Mulholland has unjustly pursued him.

On Thursday, Mr Stirton wanted his 67-year-old friend James McDonald to address the court about the allegations facing the Lord Advocate.

Mr McDonald, of Stirling, was convicted of fraud at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in April 2009 for impersonating a lawyer. He conned asylum seekers who paid him for advice about immigration laws.

However, judges Lord Carloway, Lord Brodie and Lord Menzies refused to allow Mr McDonald to address the court.

They ruled that the only people who are able to address the court are qualified advocates and solicitor advocates.

Mr Stirton told the court that this decision contravened his human rights.

He told the judges: “I’m entitled to justice. I’m a citizen of this state and this state needs to give me justice.

“I would like Mr McDonald to address the court on my behalf. I have spent the past 13 and a half years taking the system on and I’ll spend another 13 and a half years battling against it.

“Nothing has been proven against me in a criminal court.

“There have been allegations made against me and my family.

“I’m entitled to justice.”

Stirton, of Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, and his now deceased associate Alexander Anderson - were initially targeted by Strathclyde Police detectives in 2004.

The pair weren’t charged with any crimes but were warned that assets worth £992,000 were to be taken from them because of their involvement in ‘dodgy’ dealings.

Prosecution lawyers pursued Stirton through the civil courts to seize his assets.

However, judge Lady Stacey ruled in 2012 that three houses and other assets held by the two men were paid for through drug dealing,extortion and money laundering.

The Crown were given the go head to seize almost £1 million from Stirton and Anderson.

Police believed Stirton laundered cash through the McGovern crime family’s petrol station in Glasgow.

Stirton believed he had been unfairly targeted by Crown Office lawyers.

On Thursday, he wanted to be given the go ahead to bring a private prosecution against Frank Mulholland QC.

He also wanted his associate Mr McDonald to address the court on his behalf.

When the judges told him that they wouldn’t allow Mr McDonald to address the court because he was a properly qualified lawyer, Mr Stirton told the court that he wanted to abandon his private prosecution bid.

He told Lord Carloway that he believed his human rights had been breached and that he now wanted to go to the Supreme Court in London to argue that Mr McDonald should have been allowed to address the court.

He said: “I’m now going to abandon this. I want to go to the Supreme Court to argue that my rights have been breached.”

The judges then allowed Mr Stirton’s claims to be withdrawn.