Kirkhill Mansion: Organisers of 300-person Midlothian rave told hosts they were a family of six adults

Host was called by police to find ‘chaos and carnage’ at the property.
Kirkhill HouseKirkhill House
Kirkhill House

The host of a Midlothian Mansion at the centre of a police investigation after officers broke up a lockdown party of 300 people has slammed the ‘reckless’ behaviour of his guests.

Police were called to Kirkhill Mansion in the early hours of Sunday morning to break up a party of more than 300 people breaking lockdown rules.

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The group has been condemned by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who called their behaviour ‘utterly irresponsible’.

The host of the mansion, who is a keyholder acting on behalf of the owner, said party organisers told him they they were a family group of six adults and completed all necessary Track and Trace procedures.

At 1.30am on Sunday he was shocked to receive a call from Police Scotland about a mass rave being held at the house.

“I went along, and on my arrival I found chaos and carnage,” he said.

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"I fought my way through maybe 30 or 40 vehicles on the main road to get down to the property. I got down and I was met with a lot of police, all over the place. It was wild.”

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Police break up 'selfish and irresponsible' 300-person rave in Midlothian

The host said he and the owner ‘knew nothing’ about the planned party.

"The owner received a reservation request for a family gathering of ten people, three of which were children,” he said.

"We had no indication that this was going to be anything other than a normal family gathering that we have time and time again.

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“The guests completed a declaration that they would comply with Covid regulations and the associated guidance. Track and Trace was completed.

"We were completely happy, and we had absolutely no indication that this would be anything other than a normal reservation for us.”

He added that there was some damage to the property, including to wardrobes and ornaments. The main lawn was ‘completely trashed’ by cars parking on it, he said.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “It’s hard to put into words how utterly irresponsible this kind of behaviour is in current circumstances.

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"It puts people at risk and threatens our progress out of lockdown. PLEASE do not attend house parties just now.”

Police are now investigating potential culpable and reckless conduct charges and licensing breaches.

A 29-year-old man was given a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said “Those attending this organised event showed a blatant disregard for the regulations in place to help save lives and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Further investigations are being carried out with a view to what other charges may be brought, including culpable and reckless conduct."

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Councillor Stephen Curran, Chair of Midlothian Police, Fire and Rescue Board, said: “Those 300 or so people didn’t just put themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus, they put residents across Midlothian and beyond at risk.

“To call them selfish and irresponsible is an understatement. We realise it can be challenging following the guidance but if the majority of us can do it then so can they.”

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