a. Initial Writ
Sheriffdom of Glasgow, 1
In the cause
72 Hillhouse Street,
G21 4HP GLASGOW
LENA WILSON and IAIN SCOTT
c/o Scottish Enterprise, Atrium Court,
50 Waterloo Street, GLASGOW G2 6HQ
The pursuer craves the court:
1. To grant decree against the defenders for payment to the pursuer of the sum of THREE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY TWO POUNDS (£311,242), with interest thereon at the rate of eight per centum per annum from the date of decree until payment.
2. To find the defenders liable in the expenses of the action.
COND. 1 The pursuer resides at
72 Hillhouse Street,
G21 4HP. The addresses of the defenders are not known to the pursuer but the
defenders are employed by Scottish Enterprise which has a place of business at Atrium
Court, 50 Waterloo Street, GLASGOW G2 6HQ and this court has jurisdiction since
the damage to the pursuer took place in Glasgow. To the knowledge of the
pursuer, no proceedings are pending before any other court involving the
present cause of action and between the parties hereto. To the knowledge of the
pursuer, no agreement exists between the parties prorogating jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the present cause to another court. GLASGOW
COND. 2 On 27 November 2013 Mr Iain Scott wrote to Mr Bob Doris MSP in agreement with Ms Lena Wilson regarding the pursuer including the words that are reproduced below, in italics for convenience:
‘Thank you for your letter of 5 November 2013 to our Chief Executive, Lena Wilson. I am responding to your letter in my capacity as Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary and as a follow up to my conversation with your office on the background to this case on 21 November 2013.’
‘As you will note from our response to Ms Patricia Ferguson MSP in May 2012, Mr Cairns' complaint dates back to 1993. Mr Cairns remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the original investigation and in the intervening period he has used various routes to continue to highlight his concerns.’
‘I understand that Mr Cairns has fully exhausted the complaints and review procedures of all the organisations that he has involved, including Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.’
‘For a complaint to continue to be raised beyond all the review processes places Scottish Enterprise in a difficult, indeed, unprecedented position.’
‘In our view, given the complaint has exhausted even the processes beyond Scottish Enterprise’s complaints procedure, the length of time since the original complaint and that staff involved at the time are no longer in the employment of Scottish Enterprise we do not believe that it is the public interest (sic) to dedicate any further public resource to re-addressing questions posed by Mr Cairns that were the subject of the original complaint.’
In July 2016 the pursuer obtained disclosures from Scottish Enterprise showing that on 15 April 2016 Mr Iain Scott had communicated to Police Scotland and Scottish Enterprise the following words about the pursuer, the first two paragraphs of which had originated from Ms Mandy Dickson of Scottish Enterprise on 20 August 1993 and the rest from the Press Office of Scottish Enterprise on 1 September 1993:
‘Following an allegation by a member of EA’s temporary staff, Tom Woodbridge requested that I visit EA to investigate the facts behind the report.’
‘A review of the bank reconciliation indicated that the bank statements had been reconciled only to the cash book. As the entry had been made in the cash book for the ERDF income, no discrepancy arose. Had the cash book balance been subsequently reconciled to the bank account in the financial ledger the difference would have been highlighted. There was no evidence that this reconciliation had been carried out.’
‘STATEMENT GIVEN TO KIRSTY SCOTT, THE HERALD regarding allegations of mis-accounting at Enterprise Ayrshire’
‘Scottish Enterprise National took these allegations seriously, and investigated them thoroughly on the day that they were made. There is no substance to any of the allegations made regarding the receipt of European funds by Enterprise Ayrshire. Our enquiries are complete and there are no grounds for taking any action.’
Copies of the letter from Mr Iain Scott to Mr Bob Doris MSP dated 27 November 2013 and the communications from Mr Iain Scott to Police Scotland and Scottish Enterprise on 15 April 2016 are produced and referred to for their terms which are held as incorporated herein brevitatis causa.
COND. 3 The letter from Mr Iain Scott to Mr Bob Doris MSP dated 27 November 2013 and the communications from Mr Iain Scott to Police Scotland and Scottish Enterprise on 15 April 2016 contain significant falsehoods and indicate that by 27 November 2013 the defenders entered into an unlawful means conspiracy to harm the pursuer economically that began in August 1993 and is in operation up to the present time.
In a conspiracy each of the participants is responsible for the acts and omissions of all the other participants.
COND. 4 The available evidence shows that participants in the conspiracy had falsely portrayed the pursuer since August 1993 as an incompetent accountant and a false accuser.
The available evidence shows that participants in the conspiracy had rendered the pursuer unemployable in his profession since August 1993.
COND. 5 The pursuer is entitled to reparation from the defenders for economic losses resulting from the operation of the conspiracy since August 1993.
COND. 6 At the date of the inception of the unlawful means conspiracy to harm the pursuer economically the pursuer’s earnings were £18,000 annually. Economic losses after tax and national insurance from August 1993 to retirement are estimated at a present value at the date of the claim of £538,742 (for past losses over 22 years and nine months at £23,681 per year, the estimated loss of net annual income after tax and national insurance based upon gross earnings of £30,608, which is the gross annual income of £18,000 inflated by the movement in the Retail Prices Index from August 1993 to April 2016).
The pursuer’s actual income for this period averaged less than £10,000 annually but is estimated at a total of £227,500 (£10,000 annually for 22 years and 9 months) for the purpose of this claim, resulting in a net claim of £311,242.
COND. 10 The defenders have been called upon to make reparation to the pursuer but refuse or at least delay to do so. This action is accordingly necessary.
PLEAS-IN-LAW FOR THE PURSUER
1. By 27 November 2013 the defenders had entered into an unlawful means conspiracy to harm the pursuer economically that began operating in August 1993 and has been in operation up to the present time.
2. The defenders are responsible for the acts and omissions of all the participants in the conspiracy since its inception in August 1993.
3. The pursuer incurred economic losses as a result of the operation of the conspiracy.
4. The sum sued for being a reasonable amount of reparation in respect of estimated economic losses resulting from the operation of the conspiracy, decree should be granted as craved.
3 October 2016