The Liddle Journalist

Tourists receive behaviour warning


By Calum Liddle
Published in the Scotland on Sunday

HOLIDAYMAKERS are being warned to behave after a court case in Greece in which a local woman was accused of setting fire to a British tourist after he allegedly groped her in a bar.

Britain's Travel Association ABTA will urge British holidaymakers to "appreciate local customs", after the woman charged with assault was hailed as a hero by locals who are fed up with rowdy British holidaymakers who have earned a bad reputation because of drunken behaviour.

An ABTA spokeswoman said: "We are putting together a letter, outlining advice which will be distributed to holidaymakers in particular resorts stating that they must appreciate local customs and law – otherwise they will face arrest."

The Greek woman, a 26-year-old student, said she poured the sambuca – a highly flammable drink – over Stuart Feltham, 23, from Swindon, Wiltshire, after he pulled his trousers down in front of other women and made inappropriate advances towards her.

In court, her lawyer said: "He fondled my client's breasts and buttocks and she poured her drink over him and left."

An ABTA spokeswomen said: "We are in the holiday business and we want people to have a good time but we don't condone this kind of behaviour. We want to encourage people to have responsible holidays. We know we have a part to play."

Officials on the Greek islands of Zakynthos and Crete are seeking to curb inappropriate behaviour by British tourists, while the British Ambassador to Greece, Simon Gass, visits local authorities to discuss the problem.

During his visit to Zakynthos, Gass said: "If you have a resort in which there are very large numbers of bars selling very, very cheap and often low quality alcohol in very large quantities you can't be that surprised when you get an awful lot of people who end up drunk."

sheriff: take the help i offer or face jail


By Calum Liddle
Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 20 Nov 2009.
Published in the EEN


A MAN has been told to “turn his life around” in four weeks by a sheriff, after pleading guilty to nuisance behaviour and threatening neighbours in the Saughton area of Edinburgh.


David Melbourne, 21, of Stenhouse, had a public argument with a man after the sale of his dog fell through.


Melbourne was seen in the area shouting to residents “come and have a go” and threatened to petrol-bomb a flat. Witnesses then saw Melbourne banging on a door in Saughton Mains Terrace shortly after in an “aggressive and highly intimidating manner”, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard.


Defence agent Marie Stewart said: “The primary witness is Mr Melbournes step-sister. They do not have a good relationship.”


The incident took place some time between 23.00 GMT and 00.30 GMT on Friday 16 October 2009.


Dean Alexander Smith and William Melbourne, who were both with David Melbourne during the confrontations, were acquitted of similar charges.


David Melbourne has a previous conviction for assault in April 2009 following a affray on a bus. He was ordered to carry out 60 days community service.


Sheriff Neil MacKinnon QC ordered background reports in the hope that external agencies can help shift Melbourne from a “life of revolving crime”.


“I am concerned that at just 21-years-old you already have a string of offences.


“You must sort out your life if you wish to avoid a lifetime in-and-out of prison. To do this, you need help.


“I do not want to punish you. I want to help you. You must accept this help and turn your life around before I see you again.”


The Sheriff told Melbourne to “put the event behind” him.


Sentence has been deferred until 18 December 2009 following background reports.


Most Popular Stories

calum d liddle

business on fast track to success

By Calum Liddle


A young Scottish pioneer has

opened the country’s first

commercial snail farm, in his

parent’s back garden.


Malcolm Stewart, a 17-year-old

from Leith, is successfully

breeding and nurturing common

garden snails as escargot for

some of Edinburgh’s finest

restaurants, and the orders

are filling fast.


Malcolm said: “The snails come

from a designated plot in my

dad’s back yard before they

are treated, cleansed and put

into forced hibernation in the

kitchen fridge.”


The slimy creatures have proved a hit with the town’s restaurants and Malcolm claims he cannot keep up with the demand for around 300 snails every month.


“I’m now earning an income for when I start studying for my business degree next year, selling fresh and delectable home grown produce to top-notch restaurants.”










The bourgeoning sales of the helix aspersa and pomatia variety are not exclusive to restaurants with a gallic flair, but include the city’s cafés and bistros from Morningside Road to Leith Walk.


Gerry King, head chef at the Chez la Mère restaurant on Haddington Road, in nearby Musselburgh said: “We bought our first batch of 160 snails last week. It’s been popular so far, although, customers are generally taken aback by the sight of the very familiar snails.”


He added: “Why would we want snails that have been frozen and shipped from the continent? The snails are fresh, of supreme quality due to their diet and ultimately delicious.”


The snails are fed on a diet of

dried food, chalk to make their

shells strong and fresh leafy



Malcolm said: “I’ll admit to

becoming quite attached to

them. They are really quite

friendly and somewhat curious

creatures. They don’t smell, make

any noise or mess. They’d make

perfect pets.”


The snails, which are usually shipped from farms in Eastern Europe, are in short supply with the French alone consuming 700 million tonnes each year.


A spokesman for Scottish Enterprise said that Malcolm’s business, which is yet to be named, had “scope for further development and enlargement”.


“During the recession, it has become apparent that individuals look to exploit market gaps. In this case, we have witnessed the creation of Scotland’s first snail farm and it looks to be doing very well.”


Malcolm added: “As long as the Scottish winter isn’t too bitter for the snails, then I’ll remain confident for the future.”



We have witnessed the creation of Scotland’s first snail farm and it looks to be doing very well.


- Scottish Enterprise