April 5, 2017 / 1:50 PM / 3 years ago

Trump wins Scottish golf course privacy rights case

LONDON (Reuters) - A grandmother who had sued a luxury Scottish golf resort founded by U.S. President Donald Trump for breaching her privacy by photographing her urinating on the course, lost her case on Wednesday.

A police officer is reflected in a golf cart as people wait for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to land on the golf course at his Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland, June 25, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Rohan Beyts, a long-term opponent of the Trump International Golf Links (TIGL) on the northeastern coast of Scotland, had sought 3,000 pounds ($3,745) in damages at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court over the incident last year which she said had left her shocked and upset.

She claimed that by filming her, staff had breached data protection laws.

Beyts, 62, who said she had a bladder condition at the time, told the court she had tried to hide from sight after urgently needing to go to the toilet while walking on the course. Four days later she was visited by police who charged her for public urination, media reports said.

At the time, the club was not registered under UK data protection laws and staff had used photographs taken of Beyts on their mobile phones as part of a police complaint against her which was later dropped, British media reports said.

While Sheriff Donald Corke ruled she should not have been filmed, he said any distress was not a result of the company’s failure to register under the data Protection Act.

TIGL said in a statement Beyts had come onto the course looking for trouble and the case was “nothing more than a poor attempt at self-publicity in an effort to garner support for her anti-Trump, anti-business propaganda”.  

“Rohan Beyts is a shameless activist with a history of antagonistic behavior,” it added.

“Members of our green-keeping staff were flabbergasted at what they witnessed and reported the incident to the police. It should have come as no surprise to her that she was charged for publicly urinating on golf course land.”

Beyts told reporters after the ruling: “It was never about the compensation. I wasn’t interested in money.

“I was only interested in clearing my name when the Trump Organization representative spoke of me committing a deliberate and shameful act within a few feet of the clubhouse in full view of staff and guests. That was not the case.”

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison

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