A GOOD Samaritan who confronted a thug harassing people at a bus stop has told how his cheek was smashed and he suffered anti-English abuse.
Malcolm Brown, a 66-year-old retired merchant navy captain, said he had to be held back after he was punched in the face and called an “English b******”.
Malcolm, who is originally from Hull, East Yorkshire, and has lived in Scotland for 47 years, needed surgery for a broken cheekbone after the attack.
The assault, which was witnessed by Malcolm’s wife Ann, happened shortly before 10pm at a temporary bus stop in the Edinburgh’s Western Approach Road on 3 August.
Malcolm and his wife had been enjoying a performance of China’s Three Tenors opera at Usher Hall earlier in the evening before the assault.
He said: “This hooligan started on a guy at the other end of the queue, there were about 30 of us.
“He started offering a drink of his Irn Bru, then he started cursing and swearing when the guy refused.”
Malcolm said he was used to foul language from his time in the merchant navy but said “this was out of order”.
The grandfather of three continued: “I just told him to shut your mouth, go back in your hole and leave decent people alone.
“Then he lashed out at me for being English.
“He just kept calling me a f***ing English b******.”
“I made the mistake of turning away and then he hit me. He got me on the right side of my face.
“The other people at the bus stop had to hold me back.”
He added: “My wife was shocked, she was standing there next to me.”
It took Malcolm several days to realise he ahd been badly hurt, and a visit to the hospital later confirmed he had a fractured cheekbone.
He had to attend St John’s Hospital in West Lothian for surgery to have a plate fixed in his face.
Mr Brown says he is ready to challenge hooliganism when he sees it but hasn’t experienced such an attack before.
He said: “I will speak up if I think it’s bad. But it seems to be more common these days.
“It’s the first time this has happened, hopefully it will be the last.”
The thug then brazenly stood at the bus stop and chatted on a mobile phone, and got on a bus after Mr Brown left.
Malcolm, who raised his son and daughter in Edinburgh, said: “I’ve probably lived here longer than the guy who did it. It won’t affect me. I’ll still go about the town if I have to.”
But Malcolm does not believe anti-English racism is a major problem. He joked: “It’s the Auld Enemy isn’t it?”
Police described the attacker as mid-20s, around 5ft 10ins and wearing a white shell suit top, light coloured bottoms and white trainers.
A few days after the attack on Friday, August 3, Mr Brownwent to hospital where it was confirmed he had a fractured cheekbone.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.
Officers are particularly keen to speak with two elderly women who later boarded a double-decker bus at the same time as the suspect and were at the bus stop at the time of the assault.
Detective Sergeant Dave Pinkney of Lothian and Borders Police said:
“The victim, who is English, stepped in to prevent other people at the bus stop being harassed by the suspect and has suffered a painful injury to his face as a result.
“We are now keen to speak with anyone who was in the queue at the time and remembers seeing this confrontation.
“Similarly, anyone with any other information that can assist with our enquiries, or who can help us identify the male responsible is asked to contact police immediately.”