Charges dropped against woman who ‘threw chair’ at Yes rally

A DISABLED woman accused of hurling a chair from a balcony at Yes campaigners canvassing for votes in last year’s independence referendum has had the charges against her dropped - after a court was told she was “too ill” to stand trial.

Pettina Capaldi. Picture: TSPL
Pettina Capaldi. Picture: TSPL
Pettina Capaldi. Picture: TSPL

Pettina Capaldi denied the charge and was due to stand trial at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court later this month.

The alleged incident occurred as Jim Sillars rallied for votes in the run up to the September 18 vote.

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He was touring Kirkcaldy in his “Margo Mobile” - named after his late wife, former independent MSP Margo MacDonald.

It was alleged that Capaldi - who uses a wheelchair - shouted and swore and threw furniture from her home in Kirkcaldy’s Lindores Drive on August 29 last year.

The incident took place two days after the new Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy was pelted with eggs in the Fife town during his 100 towns in 100 days soapbox tour.

Capaldi, 53, of Lindores Drive, Kirkcaldy, faced a charge of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm.

The case has called multiple times since January - but Capaldi has been absent from most of the hearings on medical grounds.

Defence solicitor Peter Robertson told the court that Capaldi had been certified as unfit to stand trial by her doctor.

He said: “The letter from the doctor isn’t the most detailed - but he says she is unfit.

“She suffers from fibromyalgia and is in a wheelchair.”

He added: “The last doctor who saw Miss Capaldi said in a letter he doubts she will ever be fit to attend for trial.”

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Sheriff Richard McFarlane deserted the case pro loco et tempore - which means the Crown could theoretically re-raise the complaint against Capaldi if her condition improved.

Campaigners previously told how the chair crashed to the ground as Mr Sillars was being heckled.

Gavin Loudon, who was out with son Kieran when the incident happened, said: “We had been to a christening earlier on and both Kieran and myself were in kilts.

“While Jim was making a public address I became aware of a woman ranting about Alex Salmond wrecking the NHS in Scotland.

“I tried to tell her that it was the Tory cuts that were behind problems in the NHS but she was having none of it.

“She threw the chair down and she came very close to hitting my son, who was really upset.”