THREE members of the Gold Brothers tartan tat empire have been cleared of abducting and beating an employee who stole from the firm.
Galab Singh, Bulhar Singh and Dildar Singh Gold were found not guilty of terrorising staff member Emrah Raza to admit the thefts.
The trio had been accused of driving Mr Raza to an isolated field before attacking him and threatening to break his legs with a baseball bat.
But on the second day of the trial at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Alastair Thornton cleared them of the charges. Walking free from court together, the trio said they had “no comment” over their acquittal or the details of the case.
At an earlier hearing, Mr Raza claimed he was left cowering inside the car as he alleged Bulhar Singh repeatedly punched him in the face and body. Mr Raza, 32, said his attacker then told him he had a baseball bat and went to the boot of the Audi Q7 to pretend to get it.
The alleged victim admitted he had stolen merchandise from the Gold Brothers company, which owns a string of souvenir shops in the Capital including several on the Royal Mile, to sell on eBay and said the bosses had discovered his scam.
Giving evidence yesterday, Mr Raza said that after being beaten in the field he was driven to his house in Kirkcaldy before Dildar and Bulhar took him upstairs to his bedroom. He said: “They said to me, ‘Where is the stuff, where are the products?’.
Mr Raza told the court that the pair went through his wardrobe before emptying the contents, including his laptop, into a box and taking it away.
The court heard claims Mr Raza was then driven to Kirkcaldy’s High Street by 29-year-old Dildar and Bulhar ,who forced him to try to withdraw money from an ATM machine from a number of debit and credit cards.
He added: “I did not go from my own free will.
“I think it was Dildar who said I had to pay for the stuff. They wanted money for the stuff I had taken from the business. They forced me, they didn’t ask.”
Mr Raza said he was taken back to the Gold Brothers outlet at Kirkcaldy Indoor Market in the High Street, where he worked for the firm, and Bulhar told him to write a resignation letter. He added: “I did not want to do it. Bulhar told me to do it or he would batter me again. I had to do it, I had had enough before. He was giving me the words and I wrote them down.”
Mr Raza said he was told he was now barred from the market before being released.
The accused had each denied the charges from the alleged incident on June 3 last year and were acquitted following Mr Raza’s evidence.
Bulhar Singh, of Inverleith Place, Galab Singh, 35, of Kinnear Road, and Dildar Singh Gold, of Inverleith Place, were accused of abducting Mr Raza, locking him a car and detaining him against his will.
The trio were also accused of assaulting Mr Raza, repeatedly threatening him with violence, repeatedly punching him on the head and body to his injury, and robbing him of computer equipment, clothing, a camera, a chess set and cash.
The company, which owns more than a dozen stores in Edinburgh and Fife, is run by brothers Malap, Surinder and Galab Singh, along with nephew Dildar.