Birthday party ‘descended into drug fuelled rampage’

Gavin Munro ouside court.
Gavin Munro ouside court.
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A member of Alex Salmond’s house band shared drugs with a singer before attacking him during a drink and cocaine-fuelled rampage as a birthday party gig descended into violence, a court heard yesterday.

Band frontman Gavin Munro admitted causing “pandemonium” and claimed drummer Michael McLennan - who spent last month on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe with the former SNP leader - had given him drugs.

Munro admitted hitting Mr McLennan and pushing him onto the bonnet of another band member’s car after they fell out about the latter’s “unprofessional” approach to being in Munro’s band Red Pine Timber Company.

The frontman admitted smashing up a flat in a drink and drug-fuelled rage, but said claims that he was a sleazy sex pest arose from a vendetta sparked by the falling out with Mr McLennan.

Perth Sheriff Court was told that McLennan had parted company with Munro’s band after the incident and had since formed The Carloways and backed Mr Salmond on stage in Edinburgh.

Munro told the court: “Mikey McLennan’s band took part in Salmond Unleashed. They were the house band for Alex Salmond, which is quite incredible.”

The 50-year-old singer said Mr McLennan had joined Red Pine Timber Company as a 14-year-old drummer but had caused friction in the band because of his “rock and roll lifestyle.”

Munro smashed up a flat and said he was run over by a guest on an electric wheelchair and hit twice on the head with a bottle of Jack Daniels during Mr McLennan’s 18th birthday party.

He trashed a guitar, punched holes in a door and kicked plant pots as he brawled with a number of guests. He was eventually led away from the party and accompanied home by an armed friend wearing night vision goggles.

He told a trial at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday: “I felt my behaviour was shocking. I felt I hadn’t dealt with it in the way the leader of a band should have dealt with it.

“I’m aware of what I’m capable of and these were 18-year-old boys. I had drunk quite a bit. Somebody had given me some drugs. I believed it to be cocaine.”

He said a woman at the party had “driven” towards him in a motorised wheelchair and struck him on the ankle.

Fiscal depute Tina Dickie asked Munro if he had caused “pandemonium and hysteria” at the party and he admitted: “Yes.”

The trial also heard Munro was a sleazy sex pest who tried to strangle his band’s trombonist and rifled through a woman’s bedroom drawers to find her sex toys.

Munro claimed the sexual chat between them was “banter like in the Carry On films with Sid James.”

He admitted asking her: “Would you like to see my penis? It’s not that long, but it’s thick.” He said: “She gave as good as she got. It was the cut and thrust of the banter.

Munro denies charges including assault and making inappropriate sexual comments to two women, covering the period between 2010 and 2014. The trial continues.