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Trial of ‘shamanic’ travellers accused of Arbroath yacht theft delayed

The stolen boat returning to Arbroath marina.
The stolen boat returning to Arbroath marina.

The trial of a pair of “shamanic” travellers accused of stealing a £15,000 yacht from an Angus harbour has been delayed until next year.

Richard Gould and Vivienne Duke appeared before Sheriff Gregor Murray at Forfar Sheriff Court on Tuesday in connection with the alleged offence in September.

They had been due to face trial on a single charge of stealing a yacht from Arbroath harbour on September 22 but the court was told that other business meant the case could not be heard.

Gould, 41, and Duke, 51, initially appeared from custody in relation to the matter after the owner of the 27ft vessel, Osprey, reported the theft of the boat from the Angus marina.

Police, Coastguard and RNLI personnel were involved in the operation to bring the boat back to its berth at Arbroath.

The court previously heard the pair had been travelling for around two years and were on a “shamanic journey”, pursuing a lifestyle which did not require a home.

They earlier confirmed an address in Arbroath’s Newton Avenue and said they would remain in the area until the completion of the court process.

They will now face trial on January 29 and Sheriff Murray continued bail for both accused.

Shamanism is a practice which involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with what they believe to be a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.

It originated in Siberia and is recognised as the oldest spiritual practice in the world.

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