Deaf News: Deaf man walks free from court after extended custody because there was no sign language interpreter available

Posted on November 26, 2013

Scottish newspaper The Courier reported yesterday how a deaf man who uses sign language had his court hearing postponed and then deserted as no sign language interpreter could be found.

Peter Drinnan was accused of sending abusive text messages and vandalism charges but as a result of not having access to an interpreter, spent 52 hours in custody because he was unable to give instructions to solicitors.


Sheriff Hughes remanded him in custody for 24 hours for an interpreter to be arranged but when the case called on Thursday there was still no signer.

She submitted a motion to desert the case, which was opposed by depute fiscal Lisa Marshall, who asked that the case be continued to a later date. Sheriff Davidson rejected that and granted Ms Johnston’s motion.

Ms Marshall then asked for leave for the Crown to appeal that decision. However, Sheriff Davidson said: “You’re not getting leave to appeal. Staff in this court have sought, without success, to get an interpreter.”

He added that the woman who normally organises the services is on sick leave but said: “Despite that she has made big efforts to find a solution herself. I don’t see any evidence of any efforts on the part of the Crown to find a solution.”

Full story here

In August we reported on how a deaf man was given a reduced prison sentence because of his deafness. See The Question here and give your view.

Via Sara Jae

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