A fishing rights firm has been accused in court of breaching health and safety laws after a popular ghillie drowned at an Angus angling site.
Father-of-three James Sinclair – known as Jimmy – died at the Canterland beat of the River North Esk, near Kinnardy Pool fishing hut, on August 31 2018.
According to court papers, he had been carrying out maintenance work at the site on behalf of Freshney Developments Limited.
Emergency services were called to the scene near the village of Marykirk shortly after 2pm, following reports of a person in the river.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews from Brechin and Montrose were also summoned to the incident, as well as a specialist water rescue unit from Aberdeen.
In the wake of the tragedy, friends described Mr Sinclair, 69, from Fettercairn, as “a wonderful family man and a kind and true friend”.
A tribute on a JustGiving page set up in his honour said: “A lot of us knew him from the river, he always had time for his visitors there.
“He will always be remembered for the great man he was.
“Gone from this world but never forgotten.”
The case called at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and Freshney Developments Limited has yet to enter a plea.
The Grimsby-based firm is accused of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 by failing to ensure the welfare at work of its employees between October 1 2014 and August 31 2018.
The charge against the firm claims it failed to put in place safe practices of work, buoyancy and lone working equipment.
It adds: “James Sinclair was exposed to drowning while carrying out maintenance work in and around the river at North Esk River.”
Freshney Development’s defence agent asked that the case be continued without plea for three weeks.
It will next call at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday July 26.