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SHERIFF'S BID TO EVICT SICK WIFE; Lawman goes to court to get family out of home.

Byline: ROBERT FAIRBURN

A SHERIFF is using one his courts to try and force his sick wife and two sons out of their family home.

Andrew Lothian, 59, has raised a civil action seeking the sale and division of the pounds 100,000 property.

But his estranged wife Harriet says it is unfair the case is being heard by one of his brother sheriffs and at a court he occasionally presides over.

At Selkirk Sheriff Court yesterday, the case was adjourned for four weeks.

But it's expected a new bid will be made then by Mrs Lothian's lawyer to switch the case to the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mrs Lothian has a virulent strain of Hepatitis C which stops her working.

She's desperate to keep the home near Lauder, Berwickshire, she shares with sons James, 20, and Robert 15.

After the hearing in front of Sheriff Kevin Drummond, she said: "It would be a disaster if the house had to be sold. The house is in a poor state structurally because I have been in poor health and not able to maintain it properly.

"I have no idea where we would end up living if it had to be sold."

Mrs Lothian felt the case going ahead at a court where Sheriff Lothian sometimes presides was a disadvantage.

Sheriff Lothian, though based in the capital, has served in Glasgow and occasionally sits at the Selkirk and Jedburgh.

She said: "I feel it is unfair. Sheriff Drummond is, I understand, an exceedingly good sheriff, but it is how the public perceives this."

Mrs Lothian said she and her husband, who split up around five years ago, had been unable to come to an agreement.

But she was disappointed he'd opted for court action to get the house sold. Mrs Lothian added: "I am shocked that he does not seem to be thinking of the well-being of his sons.

"Robert is just about to start his Highers and all of this is unsettling."

The property, Boon Cottage, consists of two homes that were knocked into one for the family in 1991.

Harriet is Sheriff Lothian's third wife. He now lives in Edinburgh.

The sheriff, who has an annual salary of pounds 100,000, recently inherited a six- figure sum from his mother's estate.

He was appointed executor of the pounds 330,000 estate she left to him and his brother Murdoch. But the Inland Revenue is investigating the valuations placed on her belongings.

Sheriff Lothian was unavailable for comment last night.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 5, 2001
Words:420
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