Man ordered to do unpaid work for brandishing knife during disturbance at Kirk Yetholm pub

The Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm.
The Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm.

A man has been ordered to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work at Jedburgh Sheriff Court for brandishing a knife during a disturbance at Kirk Yetholm’s Border Hotel.

Kenneth McLaren, 49, pleaded guilty to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner on February 1.

He admitted shouting and swearing, threatening others with violence, threatening to damage property, making abusive remarks, sending threatening text messages and brandishing a knife.

McLaren, of High Street, Kirk Yetholm, also admitted possessing a bladed article.

Depute fiscal Tessa Bradley said McLaren’s partner used to be the licensee of the hotel but they had split up two years previously.

His alcohol consumption had increased since then, and he had been in the bar trying to pick arguments with other customers, she said.

He was asked to calm down but that prompted him to become abusive towards his former partner’s daughter, an employee at the bar.

Ms Bradley said that the woman informed her supervisor about what was going on and asked him to eject McLaren.

He was then asked to leave, but during the evening he sent messages threatening to slash the tyres of another bar staff member’s car and also made threats to kill a male member of staff.

The fiscal said that later in the evening McLaren reappeared at the entrance to the bar holding a knife.

She said: “He appeared quite aggressive and was holding a knife which had a green handle and a cutting blade of about eight to 10 inches.

“An unknown male removed the knife from him, and the accused kept going in and out of his nearby house but then appearing again and staring at the pub premises.”

The court was told that shortly before midnight, the police were alerted.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme said matters had been on a downward spiral for his client since the break-up of his relationship in 2017.

He continued: “The shock of appearing in court in connection with this had had an effect on him, especially when he went through the summary of evidence. He is taking this matter extremely seriously.

“He has references from his local church, and these actions are out of character for him.”

Mr Hulme recommended a community payback order as an alternative to custody.

McLaren was ordered to carry out 70 hours’ unpaid work for the threatening behaviour and 100 hours, to run concurrently, for the knife offence.

Sheriff Peter Paterson told him: “I don’t need to emphasise to you the dangers of carrying knives.”