Woman Photographed Urinating On Trump Golf Course Loses Damages Claim
5 April 2017, 12:51
A woman who claimed damages after a worker photographed her urinating at US President Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire golf course has lost her case.
Carol Rohan Beyts, known as Rohan, 62, sought £3,000 in damages from Trump International Golf Links Scotland, claiming staff breached data protection laws by ''secretly filming'' her when she was caught short at the Menie estate course.
A staff member said he photographed her for evidence of a "criminal act'' and the firm contested her claims.
A sheriff sitting in Edinburgh said she should "not have been photographed'' but ruled that distress was not caused by the company's failure to register under the Data Protection Act.
The 62-year-old long-term campaigner against the course previously told a small claims hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court she suffers from bladder problems and was caught short on a walk through the course on April 11 last year.
She added she was "shocked'' to be told by police she had been filmed, leaving her "slightly paranoid'' about urinating outside.
Her lawyer Mike Dailly said photographs of her urinating had been "captured unlawfully'' by course staff as it was not registered under the Data Protection Act.
He said her evidence showed she was clearly distressed.
Paul Motion, representing Trump International, said Ms Beyt's wide publication of the events through the media and Facebook, including the Trip up Trump page, called into question whether they had caused her distress and suggested the "true basis of the claim has been to publicise opposition to the course''.
He said upholding her claims would have serious consequences for "the prevention of crime and the apprehension of offenders''.
Giving evidence, Ms Beyts said she was walking on the course when she had hidden in sand dunes out of sight as she urgently needed the toilet.
Four days later, police visited her home in Montrose, Angus, and charged her for public urination.
An officer later told her three men had filmed her on their mobiles, which she said caused her "upset''.
She said she had opposed the course from the planning stages due to environmental concerns but always protested legally.
The procurator fiscal received a report from the police about the incident but decided to take no further action.
Sheriff Donald Corke said that Ms Beyts "should not have been photographed'', adding the criminal case against her was "frivolous''.
He warned that people "taking pictures of females urinating in the countryside put themselves at real risk of prosecution under public order or voyeurism''.
Ms Beyts's lawyer Mike Dailly said she had been "vindicated'' and Ms Beyts said she felt "very relieved''.