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Tourists in drunken hostage drama  Jul 30, 2008

A Swedish couple had their romantic Scottish holiday brought to an abrupt halt after they were taken hostage by a drunk sheep shearer, a court has heard.

Australian farmer Benjamin Davis, 31, smashed through the couple's hotel window in the Bridge of Cally Hotel in Blairgowrie on Tuesday evening.

He then subjected holidaymakers Lena Martensson and Stefan Vereaeus to abuse and threats as they tried to flee.

Davis, who appeared at Perth Sheriff Court, will be sentenced next month.

The court heard that the accused, who is also on holiday in Scotland, terrified the couple after being refused entry to the hotel.

Fiscal depute Janine Bates described how a drunken and rowdy Davis was barred from entering the premises but climbed in through the couple's bedroom window to gain access.

She said that Miss Martensson was awoken after hearing a noise about 2200 BST on Tuesday.

She added: "She saw a male emerge from the curtain to stand in the room.

"She heard the man shouting. She was extremely frightened and woke her boyfriend.

"She saw the accused pace up and down and try to open the bedroom door. He appeared to be unable to open it and he was angry.

"While his attention was on the door, Miss Martensson - who was naked - pulled some clothes from the nearby chair."

When Mr Vereaeus sat up in the bed, the court was told that Davis had marched straight towards him, warning him not to get out of the bed.

"His body language was very aggressive. Mr Vereaeus was frightened," said Ms Bates, adding that Miss Martensson then tried to make for the door.

'Drinking whisky'

However, she was pulled back by Davis as he continued to subject her to foul-mouthed abuse before turning back to her partner.

Miss Martensson then managed to get out of the door while he was distracted and urged her partner to do the same.

"He pushed Davis out of the way and ran into the hotel corridor, while Miss Martensson slammed the door shut, trapping the Australian's hand.

"She held the door fast and Mr Vereaeus went for help. She was not able to prevent him from forcing open the door and she ran into the bar."

Miss Bates told the court that the couple's ordeal lasted several minutes after which Davis was detained by staff until police arrived.

Solicitor David Sinclair, defending, said: "He wishes to offer his unreserved apologies to the victims of this senseless act, particularly the Swedish couple.

"His position is that he had far too much to drink. He cannot offer any explanation for acting the way he did. He remembers drinking whisky and that's not normally his drink."

Sheriff Peter Hammond said: "This is an extremely worrying case involving a frightening assault on visitors to this country. The people concerned must have been terrified."

Davis, who planned to return to Australia on 8 August, was remanded in custody until 20 August for the preparation of reports.

Tourists in drunken hostage drama
Bridge of Cally Hotel, Blairgowrie /

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