Alcohol not Megrahi to blame in Lockerbie row rules Sheriff


By Cara Sulieman

A HOTELIER who was accused of smashing a glass over the head of an American tourist has been found not guilty of the attack.

William Preston was charged over the incident last August but today (Weds) a jury decided that the 58-year-old didn’t carry out the violent attack.

But he still faces sentencing for a breach of the peace on the same night which he pled guilty to during the trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Both Preston and American Samuel Hogue, 25, were injured in an incident in the bar of Hotel Ceilidh-Donia on Marchhall Crescent in Edinburgh on August 24 last year.


The pair had been drinking late into the night after Preston returned from a night out with his wife Annette and started dishing out free drinks.

They had gotten into an argument about the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

Both men had ended up injured, Preston with a cut hand and Mr Hogue with injuries to his head.

But when police and paramedics tried to help the injured Preston he shouted and swore at them, threatening to kill them and refused treatment.

Sheriff Mhairi Stephen branded his behaviour “serious” and called for reports to be carried out before she sentenced Preston.

Leaving the dock, the hotelier cried tears of relief as he pumped his fists in the air.


Although the two men had been arguing about the released of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi just days earlier, Sheriff Stephen said that the cause of Preston’s behaviour was more likely to be the amount of alcohol he had consumed.

She said:  “The elephant in the corner is not Mr Megrahi but is alcohol as is so often in these courts.

“The evidence supports your plea of guilty to the second charge of breach of peace.

“That in itself is a serious charge given the nature of your disorderly conduct and the persons to who that conduct was directed.

“This behaviour towards the police officers and people who are employed to assist members of the public has to be regarded as a serious matter.”

Sheriff Mhairi Stephen deferred sentence to next month for background reports.


  1. Makes it sound like alcohol is the problem, not the person who drank it, lost control and struck Mr. Hogue.

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