Judiciary, Police & prosecutors failed to act on retired scandal Sheriff. THE WAY in which the Judiciary of Scotland deal with allegations against their own members, was never more evident, and in remiss than when the wife of a now deceased Sheriff tried in vain to report her judge husband to Police and prosecutors.
The late Sheriff Lothian, who it turns out - was well known to judicial figures and even Scottish Court Service staff - for his visits to sauna parlours, rumours of mistreatment of his family and use of prostitutes – is one of the dark, yet not so far away chapters of Scotland’s legal circuit.
Yet to this day, snippets of similar behaviour by sheriffs & senior legal figures from unpublished court documents, hearings in chambers,quietly arranged divorces and even missing Police reports - is as shielded from the public today, as it was during Lothian’s reign in the Sheriff courts.
Far from the image of judicial figures cosying up to First Ministers, Lord Advocates and the reluctant ex top judges lecturing politicians and the public on morality, transparency and accountability - members of the judiciary have recently been caught up in all kinds of seedy accusations, ranging from mega millions in hedge fund linked financial impropriety, to carefully concealed court cases and even divorce, where allegations against judges range from wife battering to drunken rages and smashing objects.
Yet, the public learn very little, if usually nothing of these events - and mysteriously, the courts, prosecutors, even Police, all comply with a very judicial silence.
The “me too” #metoo movement - a campaign to denounce sexual assault and harassment – which has somehow mysteriously skipped Scotland under First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – certainly stands no chance against angry, embittered & wife beating members of the judiciary.
Nor does “me too” stand a chance against shady senior figures in Police Scotland- who support each other when reports of sexual assault or harassment end up buried with a ‘no action’ ticket at the Policeman’s ball.
The history of the demise of Sheriff Lothian – who died in 2016 – is well known.
However, the cover up by colleagues on the bench, who knew of Lothian (and other judicial figures) associations with prostitutes, sauna bars, and the attempts by Lothian’s wife to report her husband to the Police & Crown Office – stands to this day as an example of the dark side of Scotland’s judiciary.
A carefully crafted system of cover up, denial and protection of a 500 year old white male dominated judiciary - which runs from the lowly Justices of the Peace who have criminal records for shop lifting & assault, to the most senior levels of the bench where tax avoidance, failures to declare interests, wife beating & carefully denied allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace never see the inside of a court, the pages of a recusal register or the ink of a charge sheet.
It is also worth noting, many of Scotland’s current senior judges were on the judicial bench during Sheriff Lothian (among others) penchant for boozing, sexual assault, use of prostitutes & reign of terror at home. Yet, to this day, not one judge ever spoke out.
Sheriff Lothian quietly retired on a pension of £7,000 a month.
A Freedom of Information disclosure from the Scottish Government to DOI Journalists also revealed Sheriff Lothian received substantial payments from the Scottish Government & service awards.
Documents within the FOI disclosure reveal that under the Judicial Pensions Act 1981, Sheriff Lothian was entitled to a pension of £63,200.00 per annum and a lump sum of £84,547.00 and in addition Lothian would receive a service award of £50,560.00, based on a salary of £126,400.
Additionally, under the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993, Sheriff Lothian was entitled to a pension of £62,627.00 per annum, and a lump sum of £84,547.00 together with a net service award of £52,920.00 – based on his pensionable pay of £125,253.33.
Exchanges within the documents disclosed by the Scottish Government also reveal the then Justice Secretary – Kenny MacAskill – was not informed of Sheriff Lothian’s sudden decision to quit the bench, and further emails between heads of the justice department show concern at enquiries from newspapers as to the conduct & status of Sheriff Lothian.
In relation to the allegations against Sheriff Lothian of wife beating and other reports to Police - no action was ever taken against him by the Crown Office or Lothian & Borders Police.
A report on the allegations against Sheriff Lothian and the suffering of his wife, which exposed brutality at a judicial level, featured in the former News of the World newspaper.
It may be a grim read for some, but a necessary read for all – and much further afield than Scotland:
Ex-missus claims Lothian's obsession with vice girls and booze destroyed their marriage Downed sprits daily Begged for 3-way sex Hit wife at Christmas
By MARCELLO MEGA News of the World 15 March 2009
SLEAZY sheriff Andrew Lothian is a wife-beating drunk who's obsessed with prostitutes, his ex-wife reveals today.
The shamed 66-year-old was forced to quit the bench after claims he paid for spanking and whipping sessions with an Edinburgh hooker.
But today the News of the World can expose the SHOCKING secrets of his sordid private life.
According to long-suffering ex-wife Harriet Lothian, the twisted beak TRIED to make her have sex with strangers while he watched
ADMITTED using prostitutes during their marriage
DOWNED at least a bottle of spirits every day, and BATTERED her while their unsuspecting kids slept upstairs.
Speaking at length for the first time since her ex-husband's sauna shame, disgusted Harriet, 57, said: "I'm surprised it took so long for his activities to be exposed.
"I tried repeatedly to alert the police and the Crown to his unsuitability for office because of his behaviour, but to no avail.
"I suffered greatly at his hands, both during our marriage and for many years after I divorced him."
We told last November how Lothian quit his £125,000-a-year job after Crown Office bosses confronted him about allegations over his private life.
But, according to Harriet his obsession with sordid sex had been going on for YEARS.
Lothian's wife of 19 years said: "Sexually, there were problems from an early stage in the marriage.
"I found it so unsettling that I sought advice from my father, who was a doctor, and who I could talk to about anything.
"Andrew was into kinky but fairly inadequate sex. He also had fantasies about introducing third parties, men or women, into the bedroom.
"I had no interest, but he kept asking me to do it to please him.
"I refused because I found the idea repulsive. He said he could pay people to make his fantasies come true." Harriet suspected her hubby was using hookers DURING their marriage.
And she told how her elderly father was forced to confront Lothian about the sleazy claims.
Harriet said: "He confessed without any shame. He told me he had lost his virginity at 16 to a prostitute, and that he'd always been turned on by them.
"I was devastated. I told him I'd never have unprotected sex with him again but he was totally unrepentant.
"Once his obsession was out in the open, he became more demanding. If he was out at a dinner, he would bring men home and want me to have sex with them while he watched.
"I would have to throw them out, which was embarrassing. I found the idea repugnant. Apart from anything else, I had children in the house.
"My father was 68, but was very close to me and he had no hesitation in speaking to Andrew and telling him to shape up."
The couple had married on December 28, 1983, after a whirlwind romance.
Lothian already had a son, also Andrew, from the first of two previous marriages, and Harriet had a young son, James, from a previous relationship.
Two years after their wedding, Harriet gave birth to their son Robert, but already the foundations of the marriage were beginning to crumble.
She says: "By the time Robert came along, I had serious concerns about his father's alcoholism and how terribly ill it was making him.
"He was drinking at least a bottle of spirits a day, and that was just what I was witnessing. He was in a mess.
"I went home with Robert on New Year's Day 1986 and Andrew was in such a terrible state that he became abusive. I threw a milk bottle at him and hit him on the side of the head.
"The next day, I insisted he saw a doctor, and he agreed because his mother was in the house.
Harriet tried to alert senior legal officals to her husband's alcohol abuse but was snubbed at every turn.
Things spiralled further out of control and by Christmas 1996 Harriet demanded Lothian move out.
She said: "His language became more abusive. There were implied threats of violence and the odd punch to the side of the head where no visible marks were left, but I was still shocked by what happened then."
Harriet told how their sons, James, now 27, and Robert, now 23, were in their bedrooms when a huge row erupted on Christmas Eve that year.
She claims Lothian slapped her hard in the face, before punching her full on the nose.
As their shocked mother took refuge in the bathroom, where she tried to stem the flow of blood, both sons plucked up the courage to leave their rooms and go to her aid.
With her face badly marked and her eyes beginning to blacken, the family went through the motions the next day, exchanging presents and eating dinner but the mood was understandably bleak.
Harriet said: "Until that point, I'd been trying to hold things together for my sons, but I couldn't go on with the charade.
No child should have to see their mother pouring with blood from a blow their father has struck.
It was a total nightmare." Robert said: "I remember clearly what happened that night and it sickens me the way he behaved. It is more than ten years since I have spoken to him.
"When I was 12 I wrote him a letter telling him I wanted nothing to do with him." Following the attack Harriet demanded that Lothian move out of the family home in Lauder, Berwickshire.
She wept: "I feared for the safety of our sons. I had no choice."
But in SLEAZE: summer 2001 Lothian then living in Edinburgh launched a court bid to SELL the house.
She said: "The move was especially hurtful as Robert was about to start his Higher courses.
"It was also difficult to understand as Andrew had inherited a six-figure sum the previous year when his mother died."
Lothian's partner at that time, Eleanor Burns, daughter of Sir John and Lady Eleanor Burns, had also inherited a substantial sum on the death of her mother, just a week before Catriona Lothian's death.
By 2002, when they finally divorced, Harriet claims exclusive that Lothian enjoyed a six-figure salary whilst Harriet took care of their children and could only work part-time as a rape crisis counsellor.
In the end she had to pay Lothian £28,000 to buy him out of the family home and finish the marriage.
Lothian and his brother Murdoch were subject to an Inland Revenue investigation in 2000 after claiming the contents of their late mother's Stirling home were worth a mere £5,000.
This included antique furniture, jewellery, silver, paintings and pottery.
It's understood the Inland Revenue later valued the list at £300,000.
But Harriet still wishes justice had been done for the assault she endured in 1996. She said: "Successive governments on both sides of the border have claimed to wage war on domestic violence.
"There was an opportunity for the Scottish establishment to show there was substance behind the platitudes by taking action against a senior lawyer. But typically, they covered his back." Now self-employed in horticulture, Harriet added: "I have to work extremely hard to make a living.
Andrew's disgrace has not made life any easier, but I feel vindicated."
Lothian served on the Glasgow bench from 1979 to 1992 before moving to Edinburgh. He's expected to keep his £7,000-a-month pension.
He was unavailable to comment on the allegations.
Read more articles about the Judiciary of Scotland here : Judiciary of Scotland - Previous articles