Scots pensioner ‘shaken’ after spade of cement ‘flung at him’ on Edinburgh cycle path

A pensioner claims a workman threw a spade of cement at him after a run in-on an Edinburgh cycle path.

John Mitchel says he was left ‘shaken’ after he was ‘targeted’ by an irate workman in the city center on Tuesday afternoon.

The 67-year-old said he questioned why a cement mixer had been placed in the middle of a public cycle path before being left covered in cement.

John, from the Old Town, was cycling from his Royal Mile home to Marchmont in order to get his daily exercise and pick up some messages, reports Edinburgh Live.

When approaching Potterrow from Nicholson Square, he claims he was forced to slow down after noticing the cycle path and pavement were blocked.

He says he politely asked the workmen if they had permission to block the cycle path, as there were no warning signs up to divert cyclists and pedestrians.

John says he filmed the area in order to report it to the council and was told by a workman: “No we don’t have permission” in an aggressive manner.

John was using the cycle path when the alleged incident occurred
John was using the cycle path when the alleged incident occurred

As he walked away, he claims the worker picked up a spade of cement and flung it at his direction, hitting his back and bike.

The pensioner reported it to police and says officers are now investigating and took a statement this morning.

John said: “It was two o’clock clock in the afternoon, I was cycling from the Royal Mile to Marchmont to do my shopping and get my daily exercise done.

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“When I approached Potterrow from Nicholson Square it was all cornered off with no signs put up and there was a cement mixer blocking the road.

“As I headed into that section, the cement mixer was completely blocking the road and with the barriers up I couldn’t get out so I stopped and got off to video it.

“There was a couple of workmen in the restaurant and a big chap came out, I asked if they had permission he said, ‘No and I don’t f***** care’ when I said that wasn’t on.

“I then told him I’d report it to the council and he replied in an aggressive manner ‘do what you f*****’ like.’

“He was over 6 ft tall and built like a tenement block. I’m 67 and 5.6 ft so I decided to just leave it and got on my bike to cycle away.

“As I squeezed onto the pavement to cycle off, he threw a spade full of cement at me. I couldn’t believe it and said I’m phoning the police, to which he said again ‘phone who you f**** **want.’

“It’s outrageous so I phoned 999, I was concerned if he were to behave like that and hurt somebody else.

“There was a witness there, a young student who saw it and said that’s not okay. The police came around this morning and took a statement, they said they are investigating but they might charge him with vandalism rather than assault as there is no intent to harm.”

He added: “I was so shaken, I just went home. My bike and clothes are covered in cement. He covered me in it.”

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Police Scotland has been contacted for comment.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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