Beaten up in the street for an iPhone

Michael Tait
Michael Tait
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A TEENAGE girl was pinned against a wall for ten minutes as a group of thugs punched and kicked her boyfriend unconscious.

Michael Tait, 24, was knocked to the ground after being punched by one of three men, who then kicked him in the head while he lay collapsed on the pavement.

The victim’s terrified girlfriend, Laura Corrieri, 19, has told how she was held back during the ordeal, which happened as the couple were just seconds away from their home on Caledonian Crescent, near the notorious Telfer Subway, on Hallowe’en night.

Despite having cash, jewellery and valuables on them, the gang snatched just one iPhone before fleeing the scene.

Laura’s hysterical screams throughout the attack, at 1.10am, woke nearby residents. They called the police and an ambulance, which rushed Michael to the ERI.

Today Michael said he was “very angry”. Michael, who was discharged from hospital yesterday afternoon, said: “I feel OK, but I don’t look OK. My nose is sore and my lip is badly swollen.

“All I can remember is the guy coming up behind me, asking for money and then he floored me. One guy was holding my girlfriend back and one was kicking me in the face.

“This happened just ten seconds from our front door. I remember waking up in hospital the next day and being confused and disorientated. The first thing I thought about was if my girlfriend was OK.

“I’m very angry at the culprits and I’m angry at myself. After all that, they only stole my mobile phone, which they grabbed during the attack when I was trying to call the police.”

Student Laura, who was uninjured, added: “There was blood everywhere so I panicked. I was screaming ‘Michael’ over and over again. One guy held me against a wall for around ten minutes as they went at Michael. I couldn’t really see what was going on because the guy was blocking me. I could see so much blood around him and I could see it running down his face. He was gargling on the blood in his mouth so I tilted his head forward to make sure he didn’t choke.”

One of the neighbours who rushed to the couple’s aid added: “It was a distressing, heartbreaking sight. It will stay with me for a while, so goodness knows how they feel.”

Police are urging anyone who can help to come forward.

The suspects are all described as white. They were wearing green, white and blue hooded tops, respectively. Michael added that one of his attackers had been particularly short – around 5ft 5in – with “scraggly” black hair and glasses.

A police spokesman said: “This has been a particularly vicious assault. The incident was also very distressing for the victim’s girlfriend, though, thankfully, she was uninjured.

“We believe a number of people may have been in or around Caledonian Crescent at the time and would ask anyone who witnessed the assault to contact police immediately.”

It is not the first time there has been trouble in the area surrounding the Telfer Subway, which is not covered by CCTV. Knifepoint robberies have taken place in Caledonian Crescent and nearby Dundee Street in the past month. In February 2009, a 24-year-old Australian woman was attacked and repeatedly raped after she had just passed through the subway towards the Dalry area.