AN ESCAPED convict threatened to throw himself off the roof of a prison – unless he got a McDonald’s meal.
The inmate, in his early 20s, yelled his fast-food demand to prison officers on Tuesday in a stand-off at Saughton Prison, Edinburgh, that lasted nearly nine hours.
It is understood he gave guards the slip earlier that morning and climbed onto the roof.
Jennifer Smith, a 26-year-old carer who witnessed the bizarre negotiations, said: “He was on the roof demanding a McDonald’s saying if he didn’t get it he was going to jump.
“It was only him on the roof on his own – I think others were there and trying to talk him down.
“I was really shocked – I just think a man shouldn’t have access to the roof in a prison.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Three fire engines and an ambulance attended the incident from 10am that morning but it took them until nearly 7pm that night to get him down.
Family and friends who were visiting inmates were still able to attend despite the showdown.
But one visitor, who did not wish to be named, said that other inmates were threatening to riot if the man was not brought down.
She said: “All the prisoners are going mental. They’re threatening to riot if he doesn’t get down.
“They don’t want their visiting stopped which has happened before – they’re worried there’ll be a lockdown.”
Saughton, whose official name is HMP Edinburgh, is home to 900 offenders including Peter Tobin.
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “We can confirm a male prisoner climbed onto the roof of a building within HMP Edinburgh.
“Trained staff were dealing with him and they were endeavouring to bring the incident to a safe conclusion as quickly as possible.
“Unfortunately we cannot comment further in case it affects any potential future police investigations or reviews.”