Ho­tel guest hurled racial and ho­mo­pho­bic abuse

The Oban Times - - News -

A MILD-MANNERED 54year- old man, who had never been in trou­ble with the po­lice, lost his tem­per over a park­ing ticket, racially in­sulted a ho­tel man­ager, punched a guest and hurled ho­mo­pho­bic abuse at po­lice.

James McKie, of 19 North­wood Road, Tulli­body, Al­loa, was fined a to­tal of £ 800 and or­dered to pay £250 com­pen­sa­tion to the guest who stepped in and tried to calm things down in the foyer of the Columba Ho­tel on March 27 and got a cut lip in re­turn.

McKie had been spend­ing the week­end in Oban with his wife when he was given a ticket in the coun­cil-run car park out­side the ho­tel.

McKie’s de­fence agent Jane McLaren told Oban Sher­iff Court last week: ‘This be­hav­iour was com­pletely out of char­ac­ter. He is usu­ally some­one who stays away from con­fronta­tion and walks away from it.

‘He comes be­fore the court with no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions. He wants to apol­o­gise to the court for his be­hav­iour, to the staff at the ho­tel and the man he as­saulted. He feels very em­bar­rassed.’

At an ear­lier court hear­ing he had ad­mit­ted ag­gres­sive and in­tim­i­dat­ing be­hav­iour, spit­ting, racially ag­gra­vated com­ments to the ho­tel’s man­ager and as­sault­ing a fel­low guest, along with ho­mo­pho­bic re­marks made at the town’s po­lice sta­tion.

The sen­tence had been de­ferred un­til last week for a report to be pre­pared.

Mrs McLaren said that McKie takes an anti-al­co­hol med­i­ca­tion which should never be con­sumed along with drink.

If he in­tended to take a drink he would stop a week be­fore but this time he stopped only four days be­fore his hol­i­day; he be­lieved this to be the cause of his ac­tions.

Sher­iff Ruth An­der­son QC de­scribed McKie’s be­hav­iour as ‘ab­so­lutely ap­palling’.

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