The appellant is the son-in-law of his co-accused, Mr McPhee. They ran businesses involving tarring and paving. The complainant, namely KDW, was a young 20 year old and vulnerable man. He had only recently been released from detention and was on licence. Early in cross-examination about his criminal record, the complainant said that he suffered from mental instability and had previously been compulsorily detained because of this instability, he had said that he had a split personality disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and drug induced psychosis.
The accused mis treated the complainant, even hit him at at times. The complainant said that he wanted to leave, but could not do so. He was threatened by the appellant that he would be skinned alive if he left. He regarded the appellant as the person who controlled where he lived and worked and what he was paid. The complainant said that he was paid erratically; £20 per day for four days, although he worked every day. Sometimes he was not paid at all. He was provided with accommodation in a caravan owned by the appellant.
The complainant ran away from the caravan to York, by climbing out the window. However the accused threatened him with violence to return to Scotland. The accused then located the complainant and forced him in a car and brought him back to Scotland. There are recordings of telephone calls available where in the accused is heard saying "You had better come out ...I will skin you alive" and "I'm coming to get you, just tell me where you are …”.
Finally, the complainant contacted the police using a mobile phone.