by Peter Laing
A drink drive sheriff took to the wheel while over the limit because he was depressed over the traumatic death of his father.
Robert Anthony, 48, was banned from driving for two years and fined £650 pounds after he admitted drink driving on September 30 this year.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard that date would have been Anthony’s father’s birthday and that the sheriff had been suffering from depression that week because of the death of another friend.
Anthony, a married father of three from West Lothian, had already resigned from his £123,000-a-year job. The court allowed Anthony four weeks to pay because he has not worked since resigning from the bench.
The court heard that at 5pm on the day of the incident, police received information about a motor vehicle and went to Anthony’s home.
Anthony admitted he had been driving his car and was taken to Livingston police station where tests showed he had an alcohol level of 92 micrograms of alcohol in his breath when the legal limit is 35 making him almost three times the limit.
Paul McBride QC, representing Anthony, said the sheriff had resigned from his employment in Glasgow where he had “served with distinction” for several years.
He said his client had not worked since stepping down.
McBride said he had provided the court with a report from a psychologist. He said: “Mr Anthony has been suffering from a depressive disorder that led from the traumatic death of his father.
“He does not appear to have reconciled himself to that.
“The day [of the incident] was the day of his father’s birthday. He had been depressed that week over the death of another friend.
“Having left work accepts that he had a drink and drove his car. He expresses full remorse for what he has done. It is a difficult and humiliating situation for him.
“He has taken steps to deal with his depressive disorder.”
McBride said he had personally received numerous messages of support from colleagues in the profession who “valued his contribution” on the bench.
Anthony was disqualified from driving for two years, although he was told that ban would be cut by six months if he completed a rehabilitation course for drink drivers. A fine of £650 was imposed with four weeks to pay.
Anthony, accompanied by his wife, left court without commenting.
Last month Anthony was immediately suspended by the Lord President after he was caught drink driving and resigned shortly later.
He became a solicitor in 1984 and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates four years later. He became a QC in 2002 and worked as a prosecutor between 2001 and 2004.
The following year he was appointed as a part-time sheriff and was also a commissioner for the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.
He became a full time sheriff in late 2007, on a salary of £123,200.
During his time as a prosecutor, he handled the case of the murder of Danielle Reid, the five-year-old who was killed by her mother’s boyfriend. Danielle’s body was found in a suitcase in the Caledonian Canel after lying undiscovered for two months. Her mother was jailed for eight years and the killer, Lee Gaytor, was imprisoned for life.
As a sheriff, Anthony also presided over the the Eddie Lyons case. Lyons, the head of a Glasgow crime family, admitted mortgage fraud totalling £259,000 and was given 300 hours’ community service.