Neighbours terrified by drunk with baseball bat

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Police were called after a former soldier flew into a drunken rage and started threatening his neighbours with a baseball bat.

During the early morning drama, Thomas McFarlane was heard shouting and swearing, banging doors and repeatedly pressing the door buzzer.

At Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, the 28-year-old, who served with the British Army in Afghanistan, narrowly avoided jail for his outrageous behaviour on April 9.

The court was told McFarlane started his bizarre rant at around 9.30am.

At one stage he was making so much noise it woke a neighbour who initially thought his property was being broken into. He saw McFarlane “acting in an erratic manner” and called the police.

When they arrived he shouted and swore at them from inside the flat he was renting.

As the officers approached they saw through the glass panel of the front door that he was holding a baseball bat and called for assistance.

By the time back-up arrived, McFarlane had put the bat down, but it was around two hours later that the ex-soldier, who appeared to be “very drunk”, was finally persuaded by police to come out.

At a previous court McFarlane, who was living at 93 Grahamsdyke Street, Laurieston, at the time of the offence, had admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing, uttering threats of violence and brandishing a baseball bat and had sentence deferred for social workers to complete background reports.

Last Thursday his lawyer said McFarlane “was an ex-soldier with an alcohol problem”.

Mr Neil Hay pointed out: “All this happened in his own home.

“He had been getting annoyed by people banging on his door and then running away.

“He has now moved out of the flat he was renting and living with his mum.’’

Mr Hay urged the court to spare McFarlane jail.

He added: “He is a working man with a significant income and according to reports not likely to re-offend in the future.”

Sheriff John Mundy fined McFarlane £525 to be paid at £75 a week.

He told him: “To my mind this was a very serious incident, but I’ve listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf and was just persuaded it can be dealt with by imposing a fine.

“I understand that Buckfast was involved in this, well let that be a lesson to you.”