Carroch Communications
John Forsyth


Lawful Business Christmas Cabaret

Mary Craig and the Jolly Roger

Lawful Business Christmas Cabaret: Broadcast in 1997 this was an unprecedented and unrepeatable demonstration of the breadth of Scottish legal talent, introduced by MC Austin Lafferty, and including the Faculty Band, the Penny Dainties and the virtuoso tap dancing QCs.

I wrote and produced an occasional series of semi dramatised documentaries on interesting cases that explored some of the ideas that underpin Scots Law. Narrated by Anne Smith QC this is the story of Scotland's last piracy trial.

Halt or I Fire!

Halt or I Fire! In 1941 an off duty RAF sergeant decided the car that was driving at speed down Willowbrae Road in Edinburgh during an air raid was breaking the blackout restrictions. He took it on himself to order the car to stop and when it didn't took a shot at it with the rifle he happened to have taken to the pub with him.

The Tale of the Unsinkable Coffin

The Tale of the Unsinkable Coffin. The Dying wish of Mr Harry B Groom of New York was to be buried at sea in Scottish waters. The Glasgow undertakers judged that his splendid American coffin that arrived at Prestwick airport was too grand to commit to the deep and moved him to a chipboard alternative.

The Last Execution

Henry John Burnett is the last man to be hanged in Scotland. He was convicted of the murder of Thomas Guyan after a remarkably brief trial in Aberdeen 50 years ago. Kevin Drummond QC narrates not only the circumstances of the murder and the trial but also reveals the remarkable subsequent activity behind the scenes that determined whether Burnett would be reprieved or hanged.

I Swear by Almighty God

Thomas Ogilvie died at his home in East Milne, Glen Isla in 1765. It was alleged his wife, Catherine Nairn and his brother Patrick may have conspired to murder him by poisoning. This 1997 programme, narrated by Donald Findlay QC, explored the safety of the conviction - there was another brother and female companion lurking suspiciously in the background - and also traced the evolution over the centuries of the accused's right to silence in a criminal trial. Safe or not, Patrick was hanged on November 13th 1765. Catherine somehow escaped Edinburgh, Scotland and the noose.

Christmas Eve in the Courthouse

Monday is always the busiest day in Scotland's sheriff courts. Sheriffs, prosecuting fiscals and defence lawyers are at full tilt on any Monday dealing with the weekend custodies. But when a Monday coincides with Christmas Eve the numbers are swelled by disshevelled Santas, unshaven elves and fallen christmas tree fairies. The 'charges as libelled' don't really vary much throughout the year but some do have added seasonal detail, trailing tinsel as they emerge blinking into the dock.