Driver who grabbed schoolboy for fooling around fined £300


By Cara Sulieman

AN ANGRY driver assaulted a 12-year-old schoolchild who had been dancing on the road – because he was worried about the safety of other road users.

Frederick Anderson, 56, was driving along Pentland View in the Currie area of Edinburgh last November when he saw the high school pupil fooling around at the side of the road.

The child, who cannot be indentified for legal reasons, was stepping on and off the pavement and dancing around on his way back to school from lunch.

Worried that it could have caused an accident, the builder pulled over and got out of his car to approach the pupil.

But instead of just telling the pupil off, Anderson grabbed him by his clothes before telling him ‘that was a stupid thing to have done’.

A metal chain that the boy was wearing was pushed against his chest in the process and injured him.

Today (Mon) at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Anderson pled guilty on the first day of his trial to assaulting the pupil to his injury on November 17 last year.

The court heard that Anderson had reacted after seeing the “dangerous conduct” of the boy.

Depute fiscal Aidan Higgins said: “The complainer, along with other school pupils, was making his way back to Currie High School towards the end of the lunch hour.

“The accused was driving along that road at the same time.

“The accused thought the complainer was walking on and off the road way in such as way to make driving difficult and precarious for drivers on the road.

“Having driven beyond the complainer it appears the accused stops his car got out and went back on foot to where the complainer was and seized the complainer by his clothing.

“Grabbed hold of him because of what he had seen as dangerous conduct of walking on the road with such a force a chain around his neck was pushed towards his chest.

“The injury referred to was the redness and soreness of the chain being pressed close against him.”

Anderson had described seeing the boy “dancing” along the road which forced a learner driver to stop, as his defence agent told the court.

The court heard: “The position of Mr Anderson is the complainer was walking along the roadway in a way he described as dancing.

“His arms were in the air and he was dancing around.

“A learner vehicle was coming in the opposite direction to which that boy was walking.

“Mr Anderson describes the boy as coming very close to cars, and one in fact had to stop as he was going from the roadway back on to the pavement.

“Mr Anderson was passing some parked cars just as the group of children came past.

“He got out of his vehicle, which was a works van, initially to remonstrate.

“He grabbed hold of this lads clothing then said ‘that was a stupid thing to have done and it could have been very serious’.

“Either the complainer or one of the other pupils reported the matter to teachers when they got back to school.”

Anderson publicly apologised to the boy’s family in court and said he had already spoken to them about the incident.

The court heard: “There had been some contact with this young boy’s family. When the family spoke to Mr Anderson they indicated that they held no difficulty with him as such.

Fining him £300, Sheriff Graeme Warner told him he had caused the witnesses extra distress by waiting until the last minute to plead guilty.


He said: “The children are all here today and I must say probably very tense about giving evidence.”