Peebles rioters jailed

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Four men involved in a stand-off with riot police in Peebles town centre at the end of January were jailed at Peebles Sheriff Court.

Oliver Eaton, 20, of Violet Bank, and David Stanton, 25, of North Street, both Peebles; William Drynan, 31, of Edinburgh, and David Manson, 23, from Broughton, were among party-goers whose behaviour led to the stand-off with around 40 police officers, including riot squad officers with shields. They had previously admitted using threatening behaviour and placing others in a state of fear and alarm.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Kevin Drummond, who said police resources had been stretched to the limit, added: “Behaviour of this kind will simply not be tolerated. I take the view that custody is the only option.”

At an earlier hearing, the court was told that police had arrived in Northgate on January 30 to deal with an alarm which had gone off, but soon became aware of excessive noise coming from a rented two-storey flat.

Prosecutor Tessa Bradley previously said: “The householder had a habit of inviting all and sundry back to his flat and the property was well-known for its open-door policy as a party house. Quite a considerable number of other persons were present within when police knocked on the street-level front door at 6.20am.

“Immediately, they were met with a volley of abuse and a number of male voices were heard behind the door uttering threats and insults, and banging on it, causing the window above it to fall out.”

Officers called for assistance and backed off as some revellers climbed on to the roof, while others threw parts of a bannister and batteries.

Fire crews stood by amid fears of a gas explosion, as riot squad officers joined police colleagues in a bid to quell the trouble. The doors were eventually opened at 8.20am.

Peebles town centre had to be closed off for two hours during the disturbance, and Northgate remained closed for five hours as police gathered evidence.

At the town’s sheriff court last Wednesday, Stanton was jailed for 216 days. The court heard he had 16 previous convictions and was on bail at the time of the incident. Eaton was jailed for 135 days, Manson, 162 days, while Drynan was jailed for 108 days.

Nine people were originally charged but five had their not-guilty pleas accepted.