Sick Kids fraud trial halted due to ‘migraine’

Trial halted at Sheriff Court.Picture: Toby Williams
Trial halted at Sheriff Court.Picture: Toby Williams
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The trial of the former director of a charity set up to raise funds for a new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh has been adjourned until September.

Only two and a half days of evidence has been heard since the trial began on June 2.

Fifty-year old Elaine McGonigle of Errol in Perthshire has denied 13 charges of claiming false expenses for meetings and travel, costing £1855, between September 22, 2008, and March 5, 2010, while she was in charge of the “New Pyjamas Campaign”, which was set up by the Sick Kids Foundation to raise £15 million towards the cost of a new hospital.

Witnesses, whom McGonigle claimed expenses for meeting, including the former First Minister, Jack McConnell, declared in court that they had never met her on the dates she claimed.

The trial was halted on Wednesday of this week when McGonigle complained of suffering from migraine.

Yesterday, her son contacted her defence solicitors to say she was unable to attend and had seen a doctor.

The Court called for a Sole and Conscience certificate stating this was the case and today this was presented to Sheriff Douglas Allan and accepted by Fiscal Depute, Pauline Shade.

Due to the unavailability of the Sheriff and defence counsel, advocate Drew Mackenzie, it is due to restart on September 22. Sheriff Allan asked that a check be maintained on the health of McGonigle.