Tuesday 20 February 2018

Elderly couple fined over naked drunken hotel rampage

'His memory of what happened is hazy because of the sizeable amount of alcohol he had consumed'

The Macdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel Google Street View
The Macdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel Google Street View

Jon Sharman

A pair of pensioners who went on a drunken hotel rampage have been ordered to pay nearly £5,000 in fines and compensation.

Former chartered surveyor Robert Fergus, 72, was reportedly naked as along with his wife, Ruth, 69, he threatened staff with scissors following an all day drinking session, Perth Sheriff Court heard.

The couple from Troon in South Ayrshire, also threatened to shoot staff at the MacDonald Kinlock Rannoch Hotel in Perthshire and at one point Mr Fergus smashed a glass door. 

The pair then hopped into their £65,000 BMW and drove off, before flagging down the police and accusing the hotel staff of trying to kill them.

Smelling alcohol on the pair, officers breathalysed Robert and found he was twice over the drink drive limit.

The court heard the incident in February began when the couple started banging on hotel guests doors at around 1.45am.

When staff the tried to intervene, the pensioners threatened them with violence.

Brandishing a pair of scissors, Robert screamed abuse in the hotel lobby and his wife shouted at one female member of staff: "I'm going to get a gun and shoot you".

Robert, who the BBC reported was naked at the time, then told another staff member: "I'm going to slit you and kill you".

Picking up a sign, smashed a pair of glass-panelled doors.

As terrified staff fled the hotel, the couple returned to their rooms to pack before driving off towards Perth.

After a test showed he was over the limit, he told officers: "I had no intention of driving but I was forced to. Our lives were in danger from hotel staff."

After viewing CCTV footage of the hotel incident, the police reached a different conclusion.

The couple admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner on 4 February this year.

Mr Fergus also admitted smashing glass pane doors within the hotel and causing extensive damage to servers by cutting cables and causing £800 of damage.

He further admitted driving his £65,000 BMW on the B864 while twice the legal alcohol limit (43 mics).

Solicitor Ewan Cameron said: "This was a thoroughly unfortunate incident and it was undoubtedly terrifying for the hotel staff. It was abhorrent conduct on the part of Mr Cameron but he is a 72-year-old man with no previous convictions and it is hugely uncharacteristic on his part.

"His memory of what happened is hazy because of the sizeable amount of alcohol he had consumed and evidence of his confused state is apparent when he told police officers he and his wife were the victims. He was taken aback at hearing the full details of his wrongdoing."

Mr Cameron added that his client had previously been of good character and was both a senior committee member at his local rugby club and a member of the fundraising committee for a local school for disabled children.

Sheriff Gillian Wade told Robert: "This is a very sorry state of affairs and it gives me no pleasure to see you here at the age of 72 and as a first offender. It is extremely regrettable but these are obviously serious offences and they must have caused hotel staff considerable concern."

She then fined him £2,750 and ordered him to pay the hotel a further £800 in compensation. He was also banned from driving for 12 months.

His wife was fined a further £1,350.

Both Robert Fergus and MacDonald Hotels declined to comment on the incident.

Independent News Service

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