Borders girl already an alcoholic at age of 16, court told

Sheriff Peter Paterson.
Sheriff Peter Paterson.

A sheriff has admitted being left speechless after being told a 16-year-old girl involved in a drunken disturbance in Galashiels is already an alcoholic despite still being a child.

The teenager – who cannot be named for legal reasons due to her age – pleaded guilty at Selkirk Sheriff Court to a charge of threatening behaviour, shouting and swearing and acting in an aggressive manner following an incident in Gala Park last July.

Her lawyer, Andrew Doherty, told the court she was an alcoholic, adding: “This is the catalyst for her misbehaviour.”

He explained that as often as she can, she gets together with three or four friends, and they consume about a litre of vodka, six litres of cider and two 10-can crates of lager between them.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said he found it difficult to comprehend that a girl of 16 could be an alcoholic, adding: “It takes a lot to surprise a criminal court, but I must confess that I am speechless at what I have been told.”

He deferred sentencing the teenager for three months for good behaviour and called for a report to be prepared by Addaction, a drug and alcohol treatment charity already called in to try to help her.