The mother of a Fraserburgh man who vanished in mysterious circumstances nearly three years ago has appeared in court accused of wasting the time of detectives searching for her missing son.
Prosecutors have alleged Shaun Ritchie’s mum, Carol Roy, sent a number of threatening messages to her own family and friends posing as someone else after his disappearance on Halloween 2014.
They also claim she lied to officers about being sexually assaulted.
Roy’s solicitor has already lodged a plea of not guilty on her behalf and yesterday the 39-year-old appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court for the first time.
At the pre-trial appearance defence agent Stuart Flowerdew repeated his client’s plea of not guilty and called for another pre-trial hearing in two weeks.
Sheriff Sukhwinder Gill granted Mr Flowerdew’s request and said: “You have pleaded not guilty and I shall grant the defence motion for a further intermediate diet in two weeks.”
Roy, whose address was given as Fraserburgh’s Dennyduff Road, is facing charges stretching back to June 2015.
Court papers state she made false accusations to two officers alleging she had been the subject of abusive letters and calls.
Seven of the charges date back to a week in mid-August last year when it is alleged Roy’s sister, brother and two friends received menacing text messages threatening violence against her.
Shaun Ritchie vanished from woodlands near Strichen after a Halloween night out with friends in 2014. Roy has always insisted “foul play” was behind his disappearance and has repeatedly called for detectives to investigate if he was murdered.
Despite one of the largest searches in the history of Police Scotland, he remains missing, presumed dead. Police say no evidence of criminality has ever emerged.