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Police brought in after 'agitated' man's rant at Bute House

Lee Peattie banged on First Minister's door and asked: 'Nicola, are you in?'

By STV News

Published 02 Jun 2016.

Security staff at the First Minister's official residence had to call police when an "agitated" man banged on the door and asked "if Nicola was in".

Lee Peattie repeatedly shouted "SNP", "Alex Salmond" and "Nicola Sturgeon" when he turned up at Bute House on Charlotte Square in Edinburgh.

He disappeared from sight after alarmed staff dialled 999 but returned a few hours later to continue his rant.

Bute House front of house manager Kirsteen Paterson told a trial she could see Peattie on CCTV coming up the steps to the front door, bang on the door and then throw coins at it.

He shouted: "Nicola", "Nicola, are you in?" and "Is she in?"

Ms Paterson said: "I started hearing a very aggressive and very raised voice, swearing and shouting."

The First Minister was not in the building during the first incident, which took place at 4pm on January 13.

Ms Paterson added: "I was quite alarmed. I just didn't know what was going to happen and asked a colleague to contact the police."

Andrew McIntyre, security officer at another house in Charlotte Square, told Edinburgh Sheriff Court: "He was agitated, like he was in an argument with someone.

"He was pointing his finger at the door, raising his arm and pointing at the window."

Mr McIntyre said Peattie came back at around 9pm on the same night, carrying a bottle and shouting about the SNP, the NHS, being ill and something about a hospital.

CCTV footage showed Peattie pouring some of the contents from the bottle into the basement area at the front of the house.

Andrew Armitage, the overnight security officer at Bute House, told the court he heard a voice "getting louder and louder".

He described Peattie, who had a bottle in his hand, as an "angry man".

Mr Armitage said he called the police when Peattie came back because "the First Minister was in residence and I didn't want anything to happen".

Brian Lewis, a member of staff who was asked to phone the police, said he felt "threatened, insecure and very uncomfortable" because of Peattie's actions.

Police officers traced Peattie in nearby Rutland Street. Before they said anything to him, Peattie said: "Is this who Sturgeon's sent now?"

Peattie shouted and swore at Sheriff Nigel Ross during the trial and was taken to the cells.

Peattie was brought up from the cells but when Ms Paterson identified him as the person who had been causing the disturbance, he began shouting and swearing at her and calling her a liar.

He was then removed from the dock for a second time.

Peattie, 39, was found guilty of two charges of breach of the peace after a jury trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday. His sentence was deferred for a week.