A SHERIFF has vowed to lead a crackdown on offenders who cause disturbances at the casualty department of Borders General Hospital.

Peter Paterson said he was shocked to read a recommendation in a social work report that Anthony Geidesz from Melrose should receive a fine or a deferred sentence for good behaviour.

The 65-year-old had admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner on the afternoon of November 14 at a shoe shop in High Street, Galashiels, and later on at the hospital.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said he was 'abusive, drunk and objectionable'.

Sheriff Paterson said: "It is wholly unacceptable. "People are in hospital suffering through ill-health and staff are trying to do valuable jobs and they get distracted by this kind of behaviour."

Geidesz, a recovering drug addict with alcohol issues, was given a restriction of Liberty Order keeping him in his Eildon Crescent home for the next six months between 7pm and 7am.

The sheriff said the sentence was a direct alternative to imprisonment.