Drunken fracas at Kelso hotel leads to £550 court bill for couple

A pub crawl around Kelso ended up leading to a disturbance at a hotel there, resulting in fines totalling £450 for two of those involved.

By Court Reporter
Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 5:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 5:32 pm
Ednam House Hotel in Kelso.
Ednam House Hotel in Kelso.

Thomas Dickson, 37, pleaded guilty to shouting and swearing, threatening hotel staff and police officers and challenging them to fight at the Ednam House Hotel on November 21.

His partner Molly Baxter, 24, admitted assaulting a police officer by biting one of his hands.

Her brother Jack Baxter, 26, pleaded guilty to a charge of damaging a picture frame in the hotel, sparking the fracas.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told that the three accused entered the Street hotel along with the Baxters’ father, up visiting from Derbyshire, after going out on a pub crawl to mourn the recent loss of an uncle.

At around 11pm, they were warned to quieten down as they were getting boisterous.

Soon afterwards, a bar worker heard the sound of breaking glass and found Jack Baxter sitting beside a picture in a corridor hyperventilating and with a cut to his right hand.

Depute fiscal Jane Rennie said it was at that point the police were called as hotel workers feared the situation was going to escalate, and that turned out to be the case.

Dickson then became agitated and started shouting and swearing, and he was told to calm down.

That prompted him to make threats to bar staff and he told them he was a cagefighter and challenged them to fight.

When the police arrived, Jack Baxter asked to sit in their van to get away from his relatives.

Molly Baxter and Dickson were clearly intoxicated and were abusive to police officers, the court heard.

Ms Rennie said: “Molly Baxter was then said to have gone berserk and officers took her to the ground.

“She bit a police constable on the right hand while on the ground. The skin was not broken.

“While she was on the ground, Dickson was shouting abuse at the police and said ‘if you touch her, I am going to kill you.’

“He took his jacket off and behaved aggressively towards police officers.”

Other officers had to be called in to help bring the situation under control.

Jack Baxter was taken to the Borders General Hospital at Melrose, where his behaviour was attributed to overconsumption of alcohol.

Molly Baxter and Dickson were too unruly to be charged at the time.

The former’s lawyer said her client was a first offender and took full responsibility for her actions.

She added that Baxter’s brother suffered from panic attacks and she had taken umbrage about him being taken away by the police officers.

Molly Baxter suffers from anxiety and depression, the court heard.

Her lawyer added that since the incident she had not come to the attention of the police again.

Dickson’s lawyer said his client only had previous convictions for dishonesty and not assault.

He admitted that Dickson’s behaviour was “absolutely rephrehensible” and that he had consumed too much alcohol while visiting pubs that day.

His lawyer said Dickson had been pepper-sprayed by the police officers and that was an unpleasant experience.

He added that Dickson’s claim to be a cagefighter was patently absurd and he was not being serious.

Molly Baxter, of Brisbane Place in Kelso, was fined £225 for biting the police officer, to be paid at £20 per fortnight.

Dickson, of Inchmyre in Kelso, was fined £225 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the bar staff member he threatened, also to be paid at £20 per fortnight.

Jack Baxter, of Gourlays Wynd in Duns, had sentence deferred until February 17 for a personal appearance.