The first person in Scotland to claim they had been “saved” by the introduction of a minimum pricing policy for alcohol has been remanded in custody after a succession of violent binges.
Darren Oakes said the SNP Government’s flagship policy to counter alcohol-related problems had changed his life within a week of being introduced in 2018.
Oakes has now been remanded in custody after repeatedly falling off the wagon during May, June and twice already this month.
Oakes, 46, of Leslie Court, Perth, admitted shouting, swearing and acting in a threatening or abusive manner in the city on May 20.
He admitted that on a number of occasions on June 20, he hurled foul-mouthed derogatory remarks towards his neighbours.
On the same date he admitted making threats to police officers.
Oakes admitted breaking a bail undertaking not to approach his neighbour by repeatedly doing so in Perth on July 1.
He admitted that on July 6 he assaulted PC Robert Roger at Dundee police HQ by striking his head and body with liquid.
Solicitor Billy Somerville told Perth Sheriff Court: “It is all to do with drink.
“Whilst sober he would rather run away than do anything like that but once he is drunk he turns into someone different.
“He picked up a cup of water and threw it into the face and body of PC Rogers. It was a plastic cup.”
Sheriff Keith O’Mahoney remanded Oakes in custody until September for the preparation of social work reports and a restriction of liberty report.
Days after the minimum 50p per unit of alcohol policy was introduced in Scotland, Oakes appeared in court and praised the policy for saving his life.
Mr Somerville said at that time: “It does seem the Scottish Government’s policy on minimum pricing has already had an effect on him.
“He was drinking a box of wine a day and then it went to every three days. Now he says that is down to four cans of beer and he has to think about when he buys it.”
Oakes admitted making nuisance calls to all of the emergency services by claiming there was an unconscious man in his home and that a neighbouring property was on fire.
He has a long list of previous convictions for offences including burglary, theft, indecent assault, actual bodily harm, and drunken and careless driving.
In 2013, he and partner Paul Lappin were jailed for 17 months in the wake of a row sparked by their Christmas decorations.
Lappin and Oakes had a furious festive bust-up which led to them brawling with police officers.
The duo – who originally come from Liverpool – hurled racist anti-Scottish abuse at the officers who turned up to sort out their domestic differences.
Lappin was sent to prison for nine months and Oakes was jailed for eight months in that case.