Piper hit wrong note with police

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A man who went upstairs to play the bapipes in a bid to avoid a family argument attempted to headbutt a police officer who arrived at his house.

John Darling (51), a specialist painter, was “stressed” due to overwork and coping with two bereavements in his family when he turned to whisky on the day of the incident in December.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard today that an argument blew up over “a domestic matter”, and Darling went up to a bedroom and began playing the pipes in a bid to drown out what his wife Mary was saying to him.

He later stopped playing and returned downstairs, but the argument resumed and Mary called the police.

Officers arrived and when they tried to lead him out of the kitchen at his home in Laurieston, Falkirk, he aimed a head-butt at PC Paul Salmond.

PC Salmond dodged the blow, and Darling was arrested.

Darling, of Keir Hardie Avenue, Laurieston, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer in the course of his duty by attempting to head-butt him on December 3, 2016.

Darling’s solicitor, Gordon Addison, said his client thought the police should not have entered the house, and he had done his best avoid the domestic argument.

Mr Addison told Sheriff Mark Thorley: “When his wife was speaking to him, he went upstairs to play the bagpipes.

“Your Lordship will be aware that the definition of a gentleman is someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn’t.

“Mr Darling knows how to play the bagpipes, but unfortunately did.”

He added: “He had been drinking whisky, which he doesn’t normally do.”

Darling, said to have “no recent analogous convictions”, was fined £800.