"Disgusting" kids abandon wheelchair pensioner on road


By Michael MacLeod

TWO boys as young as nine years-old pushed a disabled pensioner in an electric wheelchair onto a busy road before running off.

Andrew Harding, 72, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was alone when the boys approached him from behind and switched off his wheelchair.

They then shoved him off the kerb and onto Dundee Street in Edinburgh, close to the city’s Fountain Park cinema.

He was rescued by members of the public who saw him stranded in the road, which has a heavy constant flow of traffic.

The attack was branded “completely disgusting” by a community leader, while police said the young yobs’ actions were “extremely cruel and insensitive.”

Last night they issued a plea for any witnesses to report the youngsters involved.

Having been approached from behind, the victim was only able to give a vague description of the pair.

“Very lucky”

He told detectives the boys were nine or ten years-old and wearing jeans and t-shirts.

Gordon Buchan, the Conservative councillor for Fountainbridge was shocked when told of the sickening harassment Mr Harding endured.

He said: “I can barely believe my ears hearing this.

“I am shocked at what sounds like a completely disgusting thing for children to think is acceptable behaviour.

“To do that to anybody in that situation is clearly wrong but considering the poor man’s age too it is quite frankly sickening.”

Mr Harding was “lucky” not to have been hit by traffic in Dundee Street – one of the key roads into Edinburgh city centre.

He said: “To have been left on the road must have been terrifying.

“It’s a very busy road, one of the main routes from the West into the city, always full of traffic and buses.

“He’s very lucky to have been saved before he was hit and I do hope police can find whoever these children are.

“It’s a good community and I’m sure the local businesses will happily hand over any CCTV footage they may have to police.”

“Extremely cruel”

Detectives hope anyone who saw the youngsters fleeing the road at around 4.15pm on Wednesday will come forward.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “What these boys did was not only extremely cruel and insensitive, but incredibly dangerous.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area and saw anything suspicious to contact police immediately.

“Similarly, anyone with information that can assist us in identifying the youths responsible is also asked to get in touch.”

Anyone with any information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.