Lanark gym boss fined £1800 for having baseball bat

Curtis Bros gym in Lanark.
Curtis Bros gym in Lanark.

Lanark fitness instructor Barry Curtis went into his van and produced a metal baseball bat during a dispute with a neighbour, and that “stupid mistake” cost him £1,800 at Lanark Sheriff Court last Wednesday.

Curtis, 37, a man with no previous convictions, admitted having the offensive weapon near his home in Quinn Court on December 2 last year.

Depute fiscal Ziad Hassan said that he had gone to a woman’s home and there had been a “verbal altercation” as he stood in the doorway, with other males standing behind him in the car park with their hoods up.

That led to the woman calling her daughter and her sons then driving out to her house, and she had then contacted the police, the court heard.

As her sons approached Curtis, he removed his jacket and threw it to one side.

“The witnesses took a step towards him, which caused him to run towards his van, where he pulled out a baseball bat and brandished it towards them,” said Mr Hassan.

The sons then went into their mother’s home and waited for the police to arrive.

Defence solicitor Archie Hill said that Curtis, being co-proprietor of Curtis Brothers Fitness in Lanark, had the bat in his work van as part of the equipment used on boot camps and other activities.

That day, his partner had phoned him saying someone had been looking in her windows, and he had spoken to the neighbour. He had then been going out to walk his dog when her sons arrived and walked towards him.

“At that point, Mr Curtis made a stupid decision,” said Mr Hill, having told his brother to take the dog into the house and gone into the van for the bat. “He stands there, and the boys leave.”

Sheriff Ross Macfarlane pointed out that the charge did not mention “brandishing” the bat and he fined Curtis £1,800.