A WEST LINTON man accused of obtaining lodgings from two Borders establishments and running up a bill of almost £4,000 has been remanded in custody before his trial after a series of failures to appear in court.

Fifty year old William Moffat, of Alice Hamilton Way, has previously denied obtaining board and lodgings at The Lodge at Carfraemill between September 2014 and October 2014 to the value of £3175 without paying or intending to pay.

He faces a second charge of a similar offence of obtaining food, drink, board and lodgings to the value of £630 without paying or intending to pay at the North Bridge Street Bed and Breakfast in Hawick on November 4, 2016.

It is alleged he failed to turn up at Selkirk Sheriff Court without a reasonable excuse on December 18 and a warrant was granted for his arrest.

Moffat denied the charge when he appeared from custody at a special Saturday sitting of Selkirk Sheriff Court but a motion for bail was refused after it emerged the court proceedings dated back to August 2015.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser, opposing bail, said there had been several failures to appear in court with various excuses including mental health problems.

He said that police in Dumfries and Galloway had advised him that Moffat had threatened to jump off a bridge into the River Nith on December 14 citing financial troubles and wanting to end his life.

Mr Fraser said: "The emergency services were called out and eventually he agreed to step away from the bridge. "It also emerged that he has been accused of getting board and lodgings at a property in Annan Road, Dumfries, for £1200."

He added that Moffat had been admitted to hospital claiming he was suffering from depression and refused to be discharged and if he was he would jump into the river.

It was claimed Moffat was essentially getting free board and lodgings and was eventually transferred to Huntlyburn Hospital where it was found there was nothing wrong with him and he was discharged into police custody.

Mr Fraser said: "There is a history of him being a con artist. He was using Huntlyburn as a free hotel.

"As far as the court proceedings have gone he has been playing the system.

"He should not be allowed his liberty before the trial as it is likely he will not turn up."

Defence lawyer Sophie Russell said Moffat had been diagnosed as having an emotionally unstable personality disorder which he was now receiving medication for.

She added there were real concerns that he would not be able to cope with being remanded in custody.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said there had been a series of failures to appear in court and Moffat was remanded in custody for the trial date of January 30.

An intermediate hearing is due to take place on January 15.