UK News: Lib Dem peer Baroness Linklater's son, 49, admits punching PhD student in the face because he was camping on family's estate but is cleared of all charges - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News Lib Dem peer Baroness Linklater's son, 49, admits punching PhD student in the face because he was camping on family's estate but is cleared of all charges

14:05  19 november  2019
14:05  19 november  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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peer Baroness Linklater ' s son , 49 , admits punching PhD student in the face because he was camping on family ' s estate but is cleared of all charges . However, he said Linklater - the son of Lib - Dem peer Baroness Linklater of Butterstone and great grandson of former Liberal party leader

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An aristocrat's son punched a mature PhD student in the face and pinned him to the ground after discovering he was wild camping on the family's Perthshire estate.

Burly Archie Linklater then sat on a rock and smoked a pipe to watch after forcing shocked student Kenneth Hainning, 46, to pack up his tent.

Mr Hainning told a court he was 'knocked senseless' by Linklater and was completely 'shocked and bewildered' by the unprovoked attack.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Father-of-two Archie Linklater, (pictured) was accused of assaulting Mr Hainning on the shore of Loch Ordie on Butterstone estate near Dunkeld. His solicitor told the court that Linklater should be acquitted due to a longstanding mental disorder © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Father-of-two Archie Linklater, (pictured) was accused of assaulting Mr Hainning on the shore of Loch Ordie on Butterstone estate near Dunkeld. His solicitor told the court that Linklater should be acquitted due to a longstanding mental disorder

Linklater accepted hitting and injuring Mr Hainning by punching him before pinning him to the ground and placing him in a headlock on 6 May last year.

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Mr Haining, from Falkirk, told a trial at Perth Sheriff Court: 'I have camped so many times in the Highlands and never had problems at all.

'I was sitting on a rock near the loch, by my tent. He walked towards me. It wasn't in a threatening manner, but he was quite a large man.

'When I asked if there was a problem, he said 'this is my brother's land.' He said 'my brother owns the estate around here.'

'He made it clear he wanted me to move the tent. I pointed out that I was wild camping and I had the right to be there. It was away from any houses.

'I didn't see a problem with where I was. He just repeated that it was his brother's land. After a while he started to become aggressive in his speech.

'I was tired and a little confused by the whole thing. I wasn't aggressive or antagonistic towards him. I was a bit taken aback and bewildered.

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'I suggested he should phone the police if he was not happy - and then he punched me in the face. He was a lot bigger than me.

'It was twice, I think. The first had knocked me senseless. I tumbled backwards and hit my arm on the rock. He went on top of me. I was under his weight and I couldn't move.

a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Kenneth Hainning is pictured leaving court after giving evidence. Mr Hainning told a trial at Perth Sheriff Court that he was 'knocked senseless' by Archie Linklater' after he discovered Hainning was wild camping on the family's Perthshire estate © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Kenneth Hainning is pictured leaving court after giving evidence. Mr Hainning told a trial at Perth Sheriff Court that he was 'knocked senseless' by Archie Linklater' after he discovered Hainning was wild camping on the family's Perthshire estate

'He twisted my arm back and said to me 'you are going to move your tent.' I wasn't in a position to refuse. I was very dizzy. It seemed kind of surreal.

'It was such a shock, because it was all very strange. It was so bizarre. After I started to move the tent, he went and sat and smoked a pipe, 20 or 30 feet away.

'My back was very sore afterwards. I had bruising on my arm and back,' Mr Hainning said, adding that his mobility was affected and he took painkillers for six weeks.

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When he was interviewed, Linklater told police: 'I totally over-reacted and put him in a headlock. I pushed him to the ground. I'm very sorry I did it..'

Father-of-two Linklater, 49, was accused of assaulting Mr Hainning on the shore of Loch Ordie on Butterstone estate near Dunkeld.

He also faced a second charge of causing fear or alarm by acting in a threatening or intimidating manner towards medical informatics student Mr Hainning.

a woman who is smiling and looking at the camera: Linklater is the son of Lib-Dem peer Baroness Linklater of Butterstone (pictured) and great grandson of former Liberal party leader Archibald Sinclair, 1st Viscount Thurso. His father is author and ex-newspaper editor Magnus Linklater CBE. Linklater was found not guilty. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Linklater is the son of Lib-Dem peer Baroness Linklater of Butterstone (pictured) and great grandson of former Liberal party leader Archibald Sinclair, 1st Viscount Thurso. His father is author and ex-newspaper editor Magnus Linklater CBE. Linklater was found not guilty.

His solicitor told the court that his client accepted Mr Hainning was a 'credible and reliable witness' and they did not dispute his version of events in any way.

However, he said Linklater - the son of Lib-Dem peer Baroness Linklater of Butterstone and great grandson of former Liberal party leader Archibald Sinclair, 1st Viscount Thurso - should be acquitted due to a longstanding mental disorder.

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He told the court that on the balance of probabilities Linklater should be found not guilty as he was unaware of the wrongfulness of his conduct at the time.

Defence expert witness Professor David Owens, 70, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Edinburgh University, said Linklater was taking mood stabilising drugs for bipolar affective disorder.

He said: 'It seems uncharacteristic that he would go out of his way to accost this man. He has had over 20 admissions to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

'He is frequently intimidating, assertive and forceful, but I have no recollection of him ever assaulting anyone.'

Sheriff Keith O'Mahoney said: 'Mr Hainning clearly told the truth. He was clearly subject to a frightening event and I commend him in open court for his restraint.

'The question for me is whether or not the defence has been established. It is clear that Mr Linklater was suffering from a mental disorder.

'As to whether he would have appreciated the wrongfulness of his conduct, I will be guided by the expert evidence. I am satisfied the defence has been established.'

Linklater - whose author and ex-newspaper editor father Magnus Linklater CBE, was in court - was found not guilty.

The legislation, as per the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 section 51A:

'A person is not criminally responsible for conduct constituting an offence, and is to be acquitted of the offence, if the person was at the time of the conduct unable by reason of mental disorder to appreciate the nature or wrongfulness of the conduct.'

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