A sheriff will need more time to consider whether evidence against a woman accused of wilful fireraising is admissible in court.
Rada Lace appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court and denied an indictment alleging that she set a fire at her mother’s Warddykes Avenue home in Arbroath last year, endangering the woman and a neighbour.
Lace made a statement under police caution following the incident, and solicitor Brian Bell has asked the court to disregard this due to her mental state at the time.
It is his submission that Lace was not in a fit state to understand the caution.
Sheriff Gregor Murray previously heard evidence from Lace’s mother, Anna Lacis, which described the 32-year-old’s behaviour in the days before she found her living-room curtain alight in a “fierce blaze”.
The sheriff will deliver a decision on Lace’s statements ahead of a sheriff and jury trial but informed the Crown and defence he had elected to make avizandum time to consider his judgment until Wednesday.
He told Mr Bell: “The one question that remains open in my mind is your client’s understanding of the detention.
“My intention is to simply record my findings in fact, with a view to making avizandum.”
The sheriff catalogued Lace’s mental ill health since she arrived from Lithuania.
She had suffered from mental illness since at least 2008 and exhibited signs of “persecutory delusions”.
When police arrived at the address following the fire on June 2, they found her “uncommunicative but compliant, her eyes unfocused looking into the distance”.