Whyte's ex-staff are guilty

TWO former housekeepers for ex- Rangers' owner Craig Whyte have been convicted of stealing items worth thousands of pounds from his Highland castle.

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But Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist criticised the businessman's evidence, which he said included "matters which were perhaps open to question".

A letter containing an alleged confession by Jane Hagan, 51, and husband Terence Horan, 54, was read out by Mr Whyte earlier in the trial.

The sheriff questioned the circumstances surrounding its recovery by Mr Whyte and his girlfriend from the couple's computer and the oddities in the language used in the key confessional paragraph.

The sheriff said: "It would be difficult to be satisfied the letter had not been altered."

However, evidence from Kim Whyte and her friend Linda Cameron that they had heard Hagan and Horan saying they intended to take items of high value from Castle Grant, near Grantown-on-Spey, because they had not been paid proved crucial.

This, the sheriff said, provided strong support of Mr Whyte's testimony that he had not given the pair an instruction to store items on his behalf in a container they rented to prevent sheriff's officers or his wife from seizing them.

The sheriff added: "Linda Cameron, in particular, did not come across as the sort of person to collude with both sides in an acrimonious marriage break-up in a conspiracy to falsely accuse Hagan and Horan of theft.

"Concerns the couple had regarding Craig Whyte's unreliability in paying bills and concerns they had about payment of salaries and their future generally provides a clear motive to them to remove property."

Hagan and Horan had denied stealing expensive jewellery, pens, a quad bike, clay pigeon trap, furniture and other goods last year and storing them in a container and at the barn of an acquaintance of Mr Whyte. The thieves were each fined £1000..


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