A HOUSEKEEPER accused of stealing from the castle of former Rangers owner Craig Whyte allegedly wrote she had planned to remove “high value” property before the bailiffs moved in.
A court heard how the letter was discovered by Whyte when he suspected theft of property from his home Castle Grant in Grantown-on-Spey, and got locksmiths to break into the staff quarters.
The millionaire was giving evidence in the trial of former caretaker Terence Horan and ex-housekeeper Jane Hagen
He claims a letter was found in the accommodation of Horan and Hagen when he suspected them of stealing.
Whyte said he got locksmiths to enter their accommodation in July 2012 and his then girlfriend found the letter.
The disgraced former Rangers owner, who had separated from his wife Kim, was asked to read the letter , allegedly written by Hagen, in court.
It stated: “We have organised his ex-wife to collect the last of her possessions from here.
“She left behind quite a lot of expensive stuff. We are going to remove some high-value things as it look as if the bailiffs will take the rest and we want to make sure that we don’t lose out.”
During his evidence, Whyte described how he discovered a vast array of property missing from his home on returning from a holiday with his children.
These, he said, included 40th birthdday gifts and expensive watches, including a Cartier valued at around £1,000.
The tycoon, who had a contempt of court for a failure to appear at a previous hearing dropped, denied that the letter he found had been altered on a computer.
Depute fiscal Heather Swan asked Whyte to read out its contents.
The letter, which makes reference to Hagen’s partner Horan as ‘T’ and their pet dog Enzo, described Whyte as as bad man who treated his family badly.
Reading it to the court, the alleged letter said: “Our boss has been behaving rather badly. We have always known he is not the nicest person in business and his living is mostly made by dubious means.
“Before we went to the States in March I had started to become friends with his ex-wife. Talking to her not only confirms our suspiciouns that he is not a good man but we found he has treated her and her family and hisfamily in the most appalling way.
“He has bankrupted his own father and due to this he has lost his home not once but three times and he still uses him to do his dirty work.”
Whyte continued to read the letter allegedly written by Hagen, which stated that his ex-wife had claimed he had planned “doing a runner and never returning to the castle”.
The letter continued: “It was rather distressing news for us. Not only do we both lose out jobs but also lose our home and will have to move from a place that we absolutely love.
“In the past few months he has been served with loads of court papers and the wolves are howling at his door. He is in all sorts of trouble with the law over his ownership of Rangers Football Club, with some pretty serious threats of going to prison over his illegal activities.
“His ex-wife has been very good at filling us in on the details and she has been watching him closely and so has her lawyer.”
The letter states that the couple even had to have anti-terrorist training because of threats made to Whyte, adding that if the “bank takes over the castle” they would have to find new jobs.
The court has heard how Whyte and his estranged wife Kim have accu the pair of stealing from Castle Grant, in Grantown-on-Spey, Moray, between June and September last year.
Horan rented an £80-a-month storage container in Grantown, the court was told. Among the items found, it was claimed, were more than 30 stolen from the where Horan and Hagan worked.
The list included a quad bike, coins, a hip flask, cufflinks, a telescope, a photo album, two jumpers and a bin.
Police raided the container following Whyte’s complaint of a theft from Castle Grant, where he lived at the time with Kim and their two children.
Both Horan, 53, and Hagan, 50, now of Bicester, Oxfordshire, deny theft. The trial was adjourned until 23 October.
Whyte was then cleared of any accusation of contempt of court, after failing to appear at a previous hearing. The court was told that it had been a misunderstanding and that he had appeared at all other relevant dates.