A Galashiels fitness instructor who could have caused a fatal accident when he stole a safety bolt from a Hawick gym was fined £300 at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Pete Farquhar, 23, who, at the time of the incident, was working as a fitness instructor with Borders Sport and Leisure Trust, removed the bolt from a weightlifting bar during a personal trainer’s course.
The incident was caught on CCTV and following a brief investigation by Mr Farquhar’s employers, gym owners Stuart Oilver and Greg Dalgleish felt they had no option but to force a criminal conviction.
Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Mr Oliver said: “We contacted Ewan Jackson from Borders Sport and Leisure (BSLT) straight away and he promised a full investigation but it wasn’t long before investigating officers Dougie Anderson and Jane Munroe closed ranks and stopped responding to our calls.
“I’m glad we were able to produce the CCTV evidence. If there had been an accident it could well have been fatal and it could have ruined our reputation.
“We were told by BSLT that Peter Farquhar “is no longer with us” and that he has been found guilty of “gross misconduct” but they refused to comment further citing the data protection act.”
Concerned that Farquhar, who is currently making £1,000 a month as a cycling coach and who advertises himself as a personal trainer under PF Performance, was going to escape any sanction, the Think Fitness owners pressed for prosecution.
Mr Dalgleish added: “I was asked in court what the possible consequences of Farquhar’s actions could have been and I had no hesitation in answering ‘death’.”
“It really is scary to think of what could have happened. He shouldn’t work in this industry again after this. It really was a disgraceful thing to do.”
Trust chief executive Ewan Jackson failed to answer specific questions about the BSLT investigation when we contaced him, but spokesperson Emily McGowan said: “We consider this to be a dispute between the Think Fitness gym and a former [BSLT] employee and decline the opportunity to comment further.”
We attempted to speak to Peter Farquhar but he failed to return our calls.