Pair locked up overnight after arriving at court too drunk to have cases heard
A WOMAN and a man were remanded in custody after they arrived at Fort William sheriff court too drunk to have their cases heard.
Margaret Gemmell, of Young Place in Fort William, and Gary Milligan, of East Kilbride, were to appear on separate charges last Tuesday, but ended up held overnight and charged with contempt of court.
Electrician Milligan, 33, was in the dock at the town’s sheriff court on Tuesday 21 July, to plead guilty to a string of driving offences - including drink driving - but was incoherent to the point he could not instruct his solicitor on his defence. He appeared before Sheriff Richard Davidson again on Wednesday.
Defence solicitor, Hamish Melrose, said: ‘He was here speaking to me at 10am. But his case wasn’t called until 3pm. By that time he had taken lunch break drinks, which topped up the alcohol he had taken the night before and he was the worse the wear for drinking.’
Milligan, who lives with his parents in East Kilbride, is working on the construction of a school in Fort William and has been in the area for five weeks. He pleaded guilty to driving a colleague’s car without permission or a licence and after consuming alcohol.
Sheriff Davidson has requested a background report and sentencing was deferred to September 15.
Gemmell was so drunk on her arrival at court she refused to be searched by security guards and claimed she had been ‘singled out’.
She appeared last Wednesday morning on two charges of contempt of court and for assaulting a police officer.
Gemmell pleaded guilty to kicking a female officer on the leg after she was arrested on March 20 this year.
The 35-year- old was described as ‘ violent and aggressive’ during the incident by procurator fiscal, Kelly Mitchell.
Her defence solicitor, Stephen Kennedy, told the court that Gemmell had recently ‘come off’ a methadone programme at the time of the incident and ‘ was not finding it easy’.
He added that Gemmell’s use of alcohol had contributed to her state on arrival at court the previous day, but that she ‘ was not someone to bury her head’.
Sheriff Davidson said: ‘ She will not be the first person who has substituted drug addiction with alcohol and it is to Miss Gemmell’s credit that she has been able to tackle her addiction.’
Sheriff Davidson emphasised the seriousness of the assault charge and said she was ‘in serious trouble’.
He requested a background report ahead of her sentencing on September 15.