Moment Edinburgh Starbucks staff flee store as customer has 'drunken meltdown'

Video footage has captured the moment an Edinburgh man was involved in a drunken tirade in a city centre Starbucks.

David McCandless turned up in an intoxicated state to the Princes Street cafe on December 16, 2023, and made his way to the front counter before making staff feel "uncomfortable."

The 52-year-old can be seen refusing to leave and pushed one member of staff on the body several times. McCandless appeared at the city's sheriff court on Friday and pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and refusing to leave the premises.

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He also admitted to assaulting an employee by repeatedly pushing him on the body during the same incident.

Footage obtained by Edinburgh Live at the time of the incident shows the moment McCandless was seemingly left alone in the store after two members of staff and several customers left.

Several witnesses and passers-by can be seen watching on as he storms around inside the cafe and attempts to leave while the doors are locked as police promptly arrive on scene.

A second clip then shows McCandless pick up a chair and hurl it against one of the store's windows repeatedly, causing it to shatter. The incident lasted several minutes as shocked onlookers gather and begin filming.

After officers arrive, they can be seen standing outside Starbucks before arresting McCandless when he breaks through a hole in window.

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Defence agent Ruairidh Mulheron said his unemployed client, of Leith, Edinburgh, was “ashamed and embarrassed” by his outburst and had no recollection of the offences.

Mr Mulheron said: “He was waiting for a friend in the pub and had one drink of alcohol and remembers nothing until waking in the police station the following morning.”

Sheriff Charles Walls sentenced McCandless to carry out 70 hours of unpaid work in the community as punishment.

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