Woman claims she was ‘secretly filmed’ while urinating at Trump golf course
Campaigner is pursuing a damages claim against Trump International, claiming staff at the Aberdeenshire estate breached data protection laws
Carol Rohan Beyts: three men allegedly filmed her urinating at Trump’s golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A woman caught short on Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf course told a court on Monday she was “shocked” to be told three men had filmed her urinating.
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 “secretly filming” her.
The 62-year-old long-term campaigner against the course said it was a “bullying act” and brought the case vowing not to be intimidated, but told a small claims hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court she has been left “slightly paranoid” about urinating out of doors.
A greenkeeper denied filming her but said he took photos as he thought urinating in public was a “criminal act”.
Giving evidence, Ms Beyts says she met fellow campaigner Sue Edwards for a walk at the course on April 11th last year, having decided to accompany her friend for “safety reasons” after she had taken pictures 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.
Ms Beyts said the course manager was there and she and her friend were asked their opinion about the course in a “polite” exchange, and told them it was “in the wrong place” before heading on.
Arrested at home
Four 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. It 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.
‘A bullying act’
Paul Motion QC, representing Trump International, claimed Ms 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.
He said her Facebook post after the event vowing “not to be intimidated” indicated the case was not mainly about her feelings.
She said: “The case is about my feelings and it is about not being bullied. I feel that being filmed secretly is a bullying act.”
Mr Motion questioned her about another post that said: “This is my first every charge so it is a bit of a shock but it isn’t a major issue, I’m well over it.”
Ms Beyts said this meant she was over the charge, not over being upset at being filmed as she did not know that at the time.
He put to her that she had “never been filmed” and she agreed that she had no evidence, but believed what the police had told her.
Course greenkeeper Edward Irvine (23) also gave evidence and said he had taken a photo of a woman urinating on the course on April 11th last year as he believed it was a “criminal act”.
He denied filming the woman or hiding as he took a photo and said she had urinated in the open despite there being a toilet in the club house and bushes and sand dunes nearby.
Questioned by Ms Beyts’s lawyer Mike Dailly, he denied having seen anyone else urinating on the course as they went into an “enclosed area” such as a gorse bush or sand dune.
Trump International contests Ms Beyts’s claims. The case before Sheriff Donald Crowe continues.