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Courts in Moray: Hotel guest defecated in police van and threatened to smear it on officers' faces

By Ali Morrison

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Elgin Sheriff Court.
Elgin Sheriff Court.

A man who defecated in a police van and threatened to smear it on officers' faces has been given unpaid work and a fine.

Stuart Cunningham and his former partner checked into a Moray hotel last year on July 22.

At about 10.30pm staff noted that Cunningham appeared to be in a ‘confused state’.

He was repeatedly asked if anyone had been in his room.

Fiscal Depute Karen Poke told Elgin Sheriff Court that the staff had struggled to understand what the 53-year-old was talking about.

Cunningham later came into the bar area and began shouting that he lost his van keys, adding that the vehicle had "£70,000 worth of gear" inside it.

The defendant then went back to his room.

Other guests followed to make sure he got there okay.

Coming back again they commented that the room was in a state.

Also concerned for Cunningham's welfare, the owner of the hotel went up to the room and found that the TV had been punched and thrown on the floor.

Police attended the scene at 11.30pm and detained Cunningham in the back of a police van.

On his way to the station, he defecated in the van and went on to threaten the police officers. He stated that he would "rub it in the constables' faces".

The court heard that Cunningham,who lives in Broxburn in the Central Belt, was in Moray to visit family.

He pleaded guilty to repeatedly kicking the door of the police van and acting in a threatening manner.

Defence Solicitor Stephen Carty said his client was "thoroughly ashamed" of how he had behaved that night.

The lawyer stated he believed that something may have been slipped into his drink.

Sheriff David Sullivan placed Cunningham under court supervision for a year.

He also ordered him to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work for the community and to pay the hotel £400 in compensation for the damage to the TV.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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