A grandmother has told a court she was “shocked” to find out she had been filmed while urinating on US President Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf course.
Carol Rohan Beyts, known as Rohan, is pursuing a damages claim against Trump International, claiming staff at the Menie estate course breached data protection laws by recording her.
The 62-year-old is a long-term campaigner against the course and told a small claims hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court that she had been left “slightly paranoid” about urinating out of doors.
Giving evidence, she says she met fellow campaigner Sue Edwards for a walk at the course on April 11 2016, having decided to accompany her friend for “safety reasons” after staff had photographed her on a previous walk.
Ms Beyts said she was being treated for urinary incontinence at the time and, after jumping over a burn, “needed urgently to go to the toilet”.
She said: “I shouted to Sue something like ‘I need a private moment’ and she said something like ‘I’ll carry on and make sure no-one is around’.
“I couldn’t see anybody, I was convinced of that. I’m not in the habit of urinating when there is anybody in view. I would be horrified. I just squatted down in the dunes.”
She told the court they carried on their walk and then a staff vehicle drew up and a man got out and started taking photos. She later discovered the individual was photographer Colin Rennie.
Ms Beyts said the course manager was there and she and her friend were asked their opinion about the course in a “polite” exchange. She told them it was “in the wrong place” before heading on.
Three days later, two police officers visited her home in Montrose, Angus, at 10pm and arrested her for public urination.
The court previously heard the procurator fiscal decided no action would be taken.
She said: “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was shocked not because of the criminal charge but because of the police coming to my door for what was quite a trivial incident.
“I hadn’t done anything wrong in my book. I had done what I always did when I was out and needed the toilet.”
She assumed she had been caught on CCTV but was later told by police that three men - two staff and a visitor - had filmed her on mobiles.
Ms Beyts said: “I felt really quite upset because I had taken all possible steps to ensure I wasn’t viewed.
“I was quite upset that I had a conversation possibly with the men that had filmed me and not a word was mentioned to me.”
She said she now finds it “more difficult” to go the toilet outside when on multi-day camping trips.
She said: “I’m always very careful that I am not overlooked.
“I go to extraordinary lengths - I’m slightly paranoid that there might be somebody hiding behind a tree or something. I sounds ridiculous but that’s how I feel.”
She said she had opposed Mr Trump’s course from the planning stage due to concerns over environmental damage, at one stage leading a protest march, but had always done so legally.
Paul Motion QC, representing Trump International, claimed Beyts was a “long-term opponent” of the Menie development and was involved with a Facebook page against the course. Ms Beyts agreed with the claims.
The case before Sheriff Donald Crowe continues.