Ex-soldier tried to strangle Edinburgh hotel bouncer with his own body warmer

A former soldier who made threats to police officers he was in possession of a bomb and was going to carry out a school shooting has avoided a jail sentence.

Calvin Bourke made the shocking comments after he had been arrested for attempting to strangle a security worker at the trendy House of Gods hotel in Edinburgh city centre.

The drunk thug then attacked a constable by head butting him within a cell at the city’s St Leonard’s police station in October last year.

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Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Bourke, 30, was staying at the House of Gods hotel at the capital’s Cowgate when he became involved in a bust up with door supervisor Luke McPhee.

During a struggle the pair fell to the ground and Bourke twisted Mr McPhee’s body warmer around his neck and tightened his grip restricting the hotel worker’s breathing.

Door staff from neighbouring premises rushed to their colleague’s aid and the lout was restrained on the ground and subsequently arrested by police.

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The court was told while being processed at the station Bourke’s “behaviour became significantly worse” and the raging construction worker began issuing the threats.

Fiscal depute Abbie McKearly said: “He stated towards PC Price ‘you f***ing little p**f’ and ‘I’m going to murder you’. He said] I’ve got bombs and I’m going to kill you and there is going to be a school shooting.

“At the charge bar he continued to be unruly and was taken straight to a cell. In the cell he was being held by PC Ritchie and PC Price and at that time he head butted PC Price to the right side of his face and was taken to the ground by other officers.”

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Bourke appeared from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this year where he pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting door supervisor Luke McPhee and PC Cameron Price on October 19 last year.

He also admitted to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner where he stated he had a bomb and there was going to be a school shooting on the same date.

Solicitor Paul Dalling, defending, said Bourke was from the Falkirk area and was a father-of one.

Mr Dalling told the court Bourke had previously served in Afghanistan with the British Army and had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder in 2021.

He said his client had “a recurring problem with alcohol” and had drunk “to excess” on the evening he made the “clearly reprehensible” threats and carried out the assaults.

Bourke returned to the dock for sentencing on Thursday where Sheriff Iain Nicol issued a sentence as a direct alternative to custody.

Bourke will be supervised for the next 12 months and must engage alcohol prevention services when directed to do so.

He was also give a conduct requirement where he must also provide his GP with a psychological report and attend psychological therapy sessions when required to do so.

Sheriff Nicol also ordered Bourke to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work in the community as punishment for his behaviour.