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01 May 2015

Sandra MacRae (1942–) solicitor, SNP candidate

MacRae, from Dundee, the son of a Church of Scotland minister, attended schools in London and Paris, and then did a law degree at Edinburgh University. He did voluntary work for two years in Ghana, and married a Ghanaian nurse.

MacRae returned to Scotland taking a position in the Falkirk local government, and then becoming director of administration of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council). He played for Stornaway Rugby Club. He was a Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) Candidate in Edinburgh in 1966, 1970 and 1974.

In the mid-1970s MacRae left wife, job and the Western Isles, transitioned, and as Sandra joined the legal services department at Inverness District Council in 1979. She had surgery in Glasgow in 1984. She held posts with Angus District Council and with the Ethnic Minorities Law Centre in Glasgow. She worked in private practice in East Calder before returning to Dundee to set up Alexandra MacRae & Co. She specialised in immigration law and working for ethnic minority groups.

Sandra was the SNP candidate in Glasgow Provan in 1992, taking 21.7% of the vote and coming second to Labour.

In 1997 she disappeared and it transpired that £18,000 was missing from her law practice. After seven weeks she was arrested at King's Cross Station, London, and appeared and was arraigned in Dundee. She admitted to embezzling money from a client's account in order to pay her Dundee firm's debts. She was struck off and later sentenced to 15 months. She then made history as the first trans woman in the UK to be sent to a women's prison. She served the time in the women's wing at Craiginches Prison, Aberdeen.

However, she appeared in court again in 2001 and was sentenced to three years when another embezzlment of  almost £100,000 came to light.  It was taken from an elderly client before her death, and then from the estate. Shares had been sold, and the proceeds put into accounts in MacRae's name. This time she was jailed for three years.

*not the journalist, nor the Nova Scotia writer
EN.WIKIPEDIA(Glasgow Provan)

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