Scottish couple accused of stealing a yacht while travelling country

Forfar sheriff court.
Forfar sheriff court.

A couple accused of stealing a yacht while on a “two year shamanic lifestyle experience” were today ordered to stand trial.

Richard Gould and Vivienne Duke are alleged to have stolen a yacht from Arbroath marina in September.

They were arrested after allegedly spending 43 hours on the North Sea off the Angus coast on the 27 foot yacht, called Osprey.

Today they appeared for a pre-trial hearing at Forfar Sheriff Court facing a single charge on summary complaint that simply alleges that on September 22 they stole a yacht.

Gould, 41, and Duke, 51, of Newton Avenue, Arbroath, denied a charge on summary complaint of theft committed on September 22.

They spoke only to confirm their names, with Gould adding: “That’s the name in the system for me, yes.”

Sheriff Gregor Murray continued the case to a trial date later this month.


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At an earlier hearing defence solicitor Billy Rennie, representing both, said the case had an “unusual” background.

He said: “They don’t have a fixed address.

“The position is that they have both been travelling for the past two years from Northumberland and have ended up in the Arbroath area.

“They have made that lifestyle choice.

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“The choice they make is that effectively they are on a shamanic lifestyle experience and are loving with nature and therefore they don’t require a home.

“The position in relation to this case is somewhat unusual.

“I’ve explained to them that their backgrounds don’t easily lend themselves to the court system.

“They have no difficulty staying in the area until the case is completed.”