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Drunk dad repeatedly called police during ‘some kind of bender’

Daniel Duthie appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court.

A landscape gardener drunkenly made nuisance and silent calls to emergency services then slammed the door in the face of concerned officers who visited him.

Daniel Duthie, of Cullen, made four calls to 999 police controllers from a home in The Square in Cullen while too drunk to remember picking up the phone.

All the operators could hear were the dad-of-one’s heavy breathing and the sound of seagulls.

Fiscal depute Karen Poke told Elgin Sheriff Court the 30-year-old first called the police control room before hanging up at 6pm on August 29, 2020.

When controllers called the number back the caller identified himself as Daniel Duthie but gave no reason for the call.

“Police attended at the address and he was traced within in an intoxicated state,” Mrs Poke said. “He couldn’t provide an explanation for making the call and nobody else was traced within the home.”

Sound of seagulls

Another call to 999 followed at 7.20pm during which only Duthie’s heavy breathing could be heard. A call 30 minutes later, at 7.50pm featured only the sounds of seagulls.

At 7.59pm he called the control room again, remaining silent even when the concerned controller asked him to tap on the receiver if he could understand her.

Police visited him again at 8.05pm.

“He was heavily under the influence of alcohol, he was uncooperative and slammed the door shut in front of officers,” the fiscal added.

‘No longer wallows in self-pity’

Duthie’s defence agent Debbie Wilson said her client had been on “some kind of a bender” but accepts that he identified himself as the caller to Police Scotland staff.

“He has done a powerful amount of work to try to tame his alcoholism,” she said.

“Because he wants to be able to see his daughter he has done a lot of work to pull back and deal with his alcohol problem.

“He is a landscape gardener and if is he sober enough and turns up then he does work. He no longer wallows in self-pity as he has done previously.”

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood ordered Duthie of Birkenbog Cottages, near Lintmill, must carry out 80 hours of unpaid work within the next six months.

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