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LAWMAN WON'T GO ON STAND; He refuses to face critics.

A SHERIFF has refused to answer criticism that he is soft on criminals.

William Reid was called to account after victims of crime said they were sick of seeing attackers and thieves released on to the streets to strike again.

But the 62-year-old refused a call to meet councillors acting on behalf of frightened and disgusted residents.

Instead, he got a court official to send an abrupt reply that the lawman was answerable only to the High Court of Justiciary.

And he pointed out that the fiscal can appeal against any sentence.

But the terse response outraged politicians. Clackmannanshire Council may now make an official complaint about the Alloa sheriff.

Councillor Charles Forbes said: "His letter is a slap in the face for us."

Councillor Craig Holden said: "The sheriff has powers and doesn't use them. The public are due an explanation and he shouldn't hide behind the legal system."

William Dick, 90, has had four break-ins and now feels a prisoner in his Alva home. He said: "I wish the sheriff could feel what it's like for me."

Among the sentences for which Sheriff Reid has been heavily criticised was allowing a paedophile who abused a 12-year-old girl to walk free from court.

He said the offences by Thomas Maxwell were "thoroughly nasty" but handed him 240 hours of community service.

Sheriff Reid was not at his sprawling country mansion home in Dollar yesterday.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 26, 2001
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