Pub manager found drunk after lock-in keeps licence

Police attending the Halfway House were  concerned at Miss Baillie's 'lack of control'
Police attending the Halfway House were concerned at Miss Baillie's 'lack of control'
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A PUB manager has been given a reprieve by councillors despite being found in a drunken stupor during a lock-in at her premises in Leith.

Arlene Baillie was found heavily intoxicated around 3am after re-opening the Halfway House following a funeral late last year.

Police said she and her partner Paul Reid were discovered by officers patrolling the North Fort Street area.

The incident on November 17 followed a mass disturbance between youths and patrons in August during which officers were prevented from entering the pub by regulars.

Mr Reid was abusive to officers and challenged them to fight him, Inspector Gordon Hunter told councillors.

Yesterday, at the city’s licensing board, councillors accepted that Miss Baillie had been through a difficult period in her personal life and let her continue running the premises with a warning.

Her lawyer told the hearing she had struggled because of the death of her baby and her father’s diagnosis with cancer.

The incident in August stemmed from a charity event held by Miss Baillie to raise donations for a local girl with cerebral palsy.

The event turned sour after midnight, when a gang of youths attempted to enter the pub and clashed with regular patrons.

Inspector Hunter said: “When they arrived, officers were refused entry to the premises by patrons who slammed the door shut. Due to this hostile reception, additional police resources were required to assist.

“Once entry had been gained, police officers were concerned by the lack of control demonstrated on the part of Baillie and the drunken and aggressive demeanour of Baillie’s partner, who was challenging police officers to fight.”

During the second incident in November, Miss Baillie and Mr Reid had been found by officers who were patrolling at 3am due to a spate of break-ins in the area.

Inspector Hunter said the officers noticed lights were on within the Halfway House.

He said: “Baillie was so drunk she was struggling to stand up and her partner was again uncooperative and abusive towards police.”

Miss Baillie was reported to the Procurator Fiscal for breaching the licensing act but has not yet faced any charges.

Her licensing agent Alistair Macdonald told councillors that she had been through a tough time in her personal life, deeply regretted her actions and was not a regular drinker.