Glenuig man in pub cheesecake row fined £315

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A Glenuig man was fined a total of £315 when he appeared at Fort William Sheriff Court last week.

Scott Watson, 51, had admitted behaving in a disorderly manner and refusing to leave the Glenuig Inn at Lochailort when asked by the licensee to do so on December 30.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis on the same date and at the same location, as well as to a charge of attempting to conceal cannabis resin by dropping it onto a stoney area of ground and to placing an item suspected of being cannabis in his mouth and swallowing it with the intent to pervert the course of justice.

Procurator fiscal Robert Weir told the court that incident had happened at about 6pm on the day in question.

Mr Weir said Watson had got involved in an argument with the licensee, Stephen MacFarlane, after the accused had taken a piece of cheesecake from the bar and eaten it.

Payment was eventually made for the cheesecake and, by the time police arrived, Watson had already left the premises.

Mr Weir added that when he was found by police, officers had searched Watson.

‘It was at this point the accused dropped an item to the ground which turned out to be 25g of cannabis resin worth £100,’ said Mr Weir.

‘He also had some material in his clenched fist which he put in his mouth and there was a strong smell of cannabis – it was some kind of vegetable material.’

This had turned out to be herbal cannabis, said Mr Weir, and Watson was taken to Fort William police station.

Defence agent Hamish Melrose said his client had been kept in custody for three nights as a result of the incident.

Mr Melrose told the court that Watson, who is employed aboard fishing vessels, had been in Fort William celebrating the approaching new year and had left about 4.30pm.

Watson had gone to visit a friend and walked past the Glenuig Inn.

‘He went inside. There was nobody about, so he shouted hello,’ explained Mr Melrose.

‘It was at this point Mr Watson noticed some cheesecake on the bar and helped himself. When the owner appeared he noticed Mr Watson was under influence of alcohol.

‘There followed a bit of of to-ing and fro-ing with the owner eventually managing to obtain Mr Watson’s credit card from his wallet for payment for the cheesecake.

‘So the manager was not out of pocket as far as the cake was concerned.’

Mr Melrose said Watson had then left the inn, but on walking past an hour and 20 minutes later after having visited his friend, he spotted police officers outside and had approached them.

‘He didn’t register it was to do with him and he approached the police officers and the incident with the cannabis took place and he was arrested,’ Mr Melrose told the court.

Sheriff Robert MacDonald said he was prepared to deal with the matter by way of a fine after taking into account that Watson had spent New Year and three days in custody as a result.

‘Here’s hoping that is a bit of a lesson to you,’ added Sheriff MacDonald, who said the charges were not trivial matters and fined Watson a total of £315.

Watson’s plea of not guilty to a charge of acting in a racially aggravated manner by shouting racist remarks at Mr MacFarlane was accepted by the Crown.