Case deserted against Hawick 51-year-old accused of sending woman videos of himself performing sex act

A man accused of sending videos of himself naked and performing a sex act to a woman has walked free from court after two witnesses failed to turn up to give evidence against him.

By Court Reporter
Friday, 21st February 2020, 3:39 pm
Updated Friday, 21st February 2020, 3:43 pm
Hawick's Havelock Place.
Hawick's Havelock Place.

Property landlord James Neil Jackson, 51, of Mayfield Drive in Hawick, had denied causing his alleged victim, a tenant of his, to look at a sexual image at a house in the town’s Havelock Place between July 2018 and June 1 last year.

Depute fiscal Fiona Hamilton asked for an adjournment of the trial because two crown witnesses cited to attend had not turned up.

One of the women had contacted the court the day before to say she was unwell but there had been no contact with the other woman.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told Jackson’s trial had been postponed on two previous occasions.

It was adjourned in October after the crown requested further time for a cybercrime report to be made available and in December, despite both witnesses being in attendance, due to court time running out because of other cases overrunning, leading to a new trial date being fixed for yesterday, February 20.

Defence lawyer Stephanie Clinkscale opposed the crown motion, pointing out that her client, a man with no previous convictions, was anxious for the case to be resolved.

She said Jackson, bassist for the Hawick folk-rock act Scocha from 2014 until they split up last year and with offshoot band the Harden Blades since then, is in full-time employment and had turned up in court once again only to face the prospect of the case being put on hold further.

Sheriff Janys Scott said that she had to weigh up the public interest alongside the case hanging over the head of the accused, adding that there was no guarantee the absent witnesses would turn up at a future trial date.

The case was deserted simpliciter, bringing the prosecution to an end without the facts being determined.