Proceedings delayed after severed hand accused is delivered to wrong court

© High Court.
Edinburgh High Court.

Court proceedings were delayed by seven hours after a man accused of severing a disabled woman’s hand from her wrist was delivered to the wrong city.

Stephen Brisbane is alleged to have broken into pensioner Sandra McGowan’s home in Dundee’s Charleston area, before using a knife to cut off her hand in February this year.

He was due to appear at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday morning. However, the G4S security company initially delivered him to Glasgow before the mistake was realised and the accused was diverted to the capital.

Advocates acting on Brisbane’s behalf have spent months attempting to obtain multiple psychiatric reports into his mental state, both at the time of the alleged assault and robbery and in order to assess his fitness to stand trial.

Mark Stewart QC, representing Brisbane, told the court in Edinburgh on Friday his client was keen to have matters resolved promptly.

He said: “My client maintains the position there is nothing wrong with him and that he wishes to enter a plea at the earliest stage.

“The court is challenging he is not in a position to do so.

“I have been asked to articulate my client’s position in court and make his position known.”

The Crown will now not accept a plea tendered by Brisbane, due to the ongoing issues around his psychiatric state.

It requested a treatment order instead, which was granted by Lord Beckett.

He instructed Brisbane to attend a secure ward at Murray Royal Hospital, Perth, for treatment.

Brisbane is accused of entering Ms McGowan’s home, demanding drugs and money from her, searching her handbag and purse and stealing an electronic door fob, remote controls and a mobile phone holder.

He is further accused of assaulting the pensioner, causing her to fall from her wheelchair, seizing hold of her wrist and severing her hand with a knife, causing her to lose consciousness.

Prosecutors claim Brisbane then took the hand away, robbed Miss McGowan of a ring and failed to seek medical assistance for her.

He is also accused of threatening his sister with violence at an address in Dundee, demanding her mobile phone and stealing a phone.

Brisbane will return for a further additional hearing on January 22 2019 at the High Court in Glasgow.

A G4S spokesperson said, “The prisoner was transported according to the direct instructions that were given.”