Thursday, 16 February 2012

Britain is no country for very old men who wish to return to the rivers where they poached for salmon when they were young men

This is a 78 year old Grandfather, Stanley Murray and the River Don in Scotland with Grandhome House in the background where, when he was a young man, he had been a salmon poacher and banned by law from going near the river.

The strange facts of Stanley's case are that he :

* after finding the 44 year old ban was still in place, decided to challenge it, could not afford legal costs to fight his case and turned up at Grandhome House waving a placard, intending to plead his cause before David Paton, son of John Paton, the landowner whose fish he had stolen in 1968.

* after the authorities had been called, was summoned to appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, where, after refusing to give up his campaign, was given a three month prison sentence.

* said before the ruling : "My poaching days are long past and I’m determined to get this ban lifted. I just want to be able to enjoy the river with my grandkids and I won’t back down till I get justice."

* served 8 days of his sentence and was told by the Court of Session in Edinburgh that he would be treated ‘without sympathy’ and could even be jailed for two years if he breached the 1968 court order again.

Lord Clarke said of Stanley :
"Whatever grievance he may have, which may go back a long time, that can never form the basis for refusing to obtemper a valid order of the court."

Needless to say David Paton, 76, stood by the court ban, saying that Stanley was a "serious annoyance".

So Stanley, Britain's Rich Old Men say : " behave yourself, know your place and no more non obtempering for you!"

Dictionary definition of obtemper :
* To obey a judgment or decree.
* A seldom used base verb from the following inflections: obtempering, obtempered, obtempers, obtemperer, obtemperers, obtemperingly and obtemperedly.


  1. Stan is still going strong and can be seen wandering around Aberdeen carriying a large picture frame, that reaches from his waist to his chin and shoulder width, showing a poster showing the text "Paton of Grandholm House is a Corrupt Liar Devoid of any Scruples".

  2. I see Stan standing in front of the Aberdeen Sheriff Court with the large placard hanging in front of him. He comes here every morning. I can see him from my room window right across the road. Today it is very chilly and snowing but seems he is determined to go on.

  3. He was not a child when he broke the law, he was an adult almost 30. He knew at the time what the consequences would be if he broke the law, yet he decided to do the crime anyway. He then decides the way to persuade the one person who could lift his ban is to harass the man till he is arrested and imprisoned, then to try and embarrass the guy.

  4. When I moved to Aberdeen I saw this guy stood outside the court practically everyday.
    Perhaps he was abused as a child or his wife or other family member was denied justice because of a technicality.
    I began to admire his perseverance.
    But now I read this, any admiration I once had has gone.
    Get on with your life you sad old man.