Drug addict admits causing disturbance at Galashiels charity office

Scott Morrison was bailed to his Church Square home in Galashiels.
Scott Morrison was bailed to his Church Square home in Galashiels.

A man has admitted causing a disturbance at the office of a charity for people with alcohol and drug problems.

Frightened staff locked themselves in a room as Scott Morrison issued threats and threw computer equipment to the floor at Addaction in High Street, Galashiels, earlier this month.

The 31-year-old pleaded guilty by video link from Edinburgh’s Saughton Prison to charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and vandalism.

He admitted shouting and swearing, punching and kicking a door and uttering threats of violence towards a female employee.

Morrison, of Church Square, Galashiels, also admitted throwing the office’s computer equipment to the floor and causing damage.

Tessa Bradley, prosecuting, said Morrison had a long-standing history of drug abuse and was on a methadone programme.

She explained that he arrived at the premises, a drop-in centre for people with drugs problems, in the afternoon and staff could tell he was under the influence of drugs.

He left the premises but then came back and appeared to be more lucid.

Ms Bradley continued: “He appeared to be under the influence of street drugs and was offered a cup of coffee to sober him up, but the staff member was concerned about his presentation and he was struggling to speak and falling into unconsciousness.

“She feared he had taken an overdose.”

Ms Bradley said ambulance staff were contacted, and Morrison was given a dose of moloxin to try to bring him round.

He was given an injection in his left thigh, and the medication worked as Morrison came round, but he jumped to his feet and started shouting and swearing.

Morrison was kicking the door of the premises while shouting and swearing and was clearly very angry and aggressive, she said.

The fiscal said Morrison issued threats to one woman, saying she was dead.

She added: “The worker was concerned for her own welfare and her colleagues, and they locked the door to prevent him getting in.

“He was kicking and punching the door, and they contacted the police.”

Police arrived at about 3.40pm and found Morrison sitting on a sofa.

He was still shouting and swearing, and the officers noted that a computer monitor was on the floor.

Ms Bradley said that while they were waiting for other officers to arrive, Morrison was shouting and swearing and told the female worker she was dead and that he knew where she lived.

She continued: “It was clear to the attending officers that all the people present were visibly shaken and frightened.

“He was taken to Dalkeith police station, where the usual procedures were followed.”

When cautioned and charged, Morrison replied: “I apologise because Addaction have been good to me.”

He later went on to claim that the staff were not being very helpful and were winding him up.

The cost of the damage Morrison caused in the office was estimated at £350.

A letter was read out to the court in which Morrison said he was “extremely embarrassed and ashamed at his behaviour”.

He said: “There is no excuse for my behaviour. I was well out of order because of the drugs.”

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said it was unclear whether Morrison would be allowed back at Addaction, but he called for a drug treatment and testing order assessment to be carried out instead of another prison sentence being handed out.

Sheriff Andrew Webster agreed but said: “It remains to be seen whether this is a viable option.”

Morrison was released on bail, and sentence was deferred until May 21.