A MANAGER at a flagship hospital has been given an absolute discharge after she helped make a citizen’s arrest on her former husband, who was once accused of extortion over a stolen £90 million Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece.

Janice Elliott, clinical services manager at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, and her boyfriend Carlos Pimenta, 45, had earlier pleaded guilty to assaulting former private detective Michael Brown, 54, at Paisley Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Simon Fraser, sitting at the court, sentenced the couple, of Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, to an absolute discharge which means they received no penalty.

The incident happened in the reception of the court house at about 10am on October 5, when all three attended court for a divorce hearing bringing Elliott and Brown’s 25-year marriage to an end.

The couple claimed they tried to apprehend him because they knew there was a warrant out for his arrest after he was held for an alleged breach of the peace.

In 2010, Mr Brown and two other men had charges of conspiring to extort £5m for the safe return of Da Vinci’s stolen Madonna Of The Yarnwinder dropped.

Mr Brown, the ex-head of Glasgow firm Diamond Investigations, was initially charged after the Duke of Buccleuch’s £50m Madonna Of The Yarnwinder was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire in 2003. The painting, now worth £90m, was found in a raid on a Glasgow law firm in 2007.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard Elliott grabbed Mr Brown by the body as he tried to leave the building while they shouted “citizen’s arrest”, “this man is a wanted man” and “someone get the police”.

Elliott and Pimenta were detained by officers and charged. They admitted their guilt earlier this year.

Yesterday, Elliott’s solicitor, Mark Chambers, told the court his client had endured “a living hell” due to the “psychological and physical abuse” Mr Brown subjected her to during their relationship.

He added: “She thought he was escaping from the building, moved herself in front of him and seized him in what she thought she was entitled to do as a citizen’s arrest.”

Solicitor advocate Bob Kerr said Pimenta believed Scotland was like Portugal, where the public are encouraged to “actively participate in helping the authorities”.

Sheriff Fraser was told Mr Brown was not injured by the two assaults. Mr Brown’s trial is still to be dealt with.

Pimenta works for the NHS as a mechanic/engineer.

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesman said: “This was not a work-related incident and she was given an absolute discharge.”