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Daily Record
Daily Record
Sarah Vesty & David Meikle

Couple who bought £1m Scottish castle terrorised by spiders invading their home

The new owner of a £1.15m Scottish castle has revealed she has been left terrified by hordes of spiders in her stately home. David and Chelom Leavitt bought Knockderry Castle in Argyll and Bute after its former owners were evicted.

David, 59, was heavily involved in the case surrounding Nicholas Rossi, a fugitive who was caught in a Glasgow hospital after faking his own death in America. The couple, who have nine children, have hired teams of experts to help their labour of love at Knockderry.

But Chelom has told how she has been left fighting her fear of spiders as they get their castle revamp underway. She said: "Maybe it's the time of year. Maybe I'm just tuning into it, but this castle has spiders everywhere.

"I'm not spider friendly or even spider tolerant. I become dysfunctional around spiders. I think this is an evolutionarily appropriate response. Spiders are meant to be creepy. It's their defence mechanism.

"I don't know if they're going to creep, or scurry, or jump. It's dysregulating. This time I noticed these creepy crawlers everywhere. So, I was on constant high alert."

Knockderry Castle in Cove (UGC)

Writing on a blog that details the castle renovations, she told how her husband came to her rescue after a spider invaded her bed.

She added: "After a long day of meeting with architects, contractors, and others, David and I were sitting in bed answering emails and I saw a little black something scurried across the blanket.

"You guessed it, a healthy-looking spider was trying to share our bed. David chivalrously whacked my stomach where the spider had momentarily frozen. Despite the sucker-punch, I was relieved."

Former Utah county attorney David Leavitt at the castle (UGC)

The Leavitts hope their labour of love will be detailed in a fly-on-the-wall TV series. They said production companies have been seeking to document the painstaking programme of works at the pile.

David, a former Utah County attorney has said the Rossi case, who is wanted for rape, was one 'one of the most important' he worked on during his time in the role.

Rossi, 35, battling extradition to America where he is wanted for rape in Utah. He was caught in Scotland when he was admitted to hospital in Glasgow after becoming seriously ill with Covid-19.

Rossi has insisted he is an Irish orphan called Arthur Knight but a sheriff last year ruled he was the wanted American after being told tattoos and fingerprints matched the suspect.

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