Cyclist pushed into canal after row at aqueduct

The incident happened at the cycle path along the Union Canal. Picture: Ian Marshall
The incident happened at the cycle path along the Union Canal. Picture: Ian Marshall
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A CYCLIST was pushed into the Union Canal by a fellow biker following an argument over who had right of way.

Brian Wiley, a banking business analyst, ended up in the water along with his bike after the bizarre incident on an aqueduct.

Yesterday, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Katherina Mika, 50, of Calder Crescent, was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work after being found guilty of the attack.

Mr Wiley, 59, had told the court that on the day of the incident he was on the narrow path on the aqueduct when he saw another cyclist coming in the opposite direction.

“I usually stop to let other people pass,” he said. “There is usually a signal to communicate who is going to stop and who is going to pass.”

Mr Wiley said he followed “the rule of the road” and was on the left side of the path.

“I stopped to let them pass,” he said. “The person indicated they were unwilling to stay on their left-hand side.”

Mr Wiley said he had his foot on the ground at the time and the other cyclist was pushing their bike.

“As they were passing, they said something to me which I could not make out. I said ‘sorry’ and they repeated the word ‘sorry’ in a quite loud and aggressive manner.”

He added: “The other person put up their arm and hand and pushed me into the canal with my bike.”

He said he had been in the water for two to three minutes before other cyclists pulled him and the bike out of the water. When fiscal depute Jenny Hamilton asked if the canal was deep at that point, Mr Wiley replied: “I am 6ft 2in and the water was up to my nose.”

He told the court that although he was not hurt, he had to replace his mobile phone at a cost of £100, and have his bike serviced for £60.

Defence solicitor Peter Winning asked Mr Wiley if there was a sign on the aqueduct saying cyclists should dismount. Mr Wiley said there was, but he could not remember if it was there in 2013.

“Why do you think it is there?” asked the lawyer.

“To make it safer for other cyclists and other persons,” he replied.

Development officer David Drummond, 51, told the court he had been about 150 yards away when he saw two cyclists ahead of him. One of them put their hand on the other’s shoulder, he said, and that cyclist had “tottered” and fallen into the canal. The man was completely submerged in the water, said Mr Drummond, which was “dirty and smelly”.

Mr Winning said his client had no previous convictions, the incident had occurred two years ago and there had been no further offending.

Sheriff Peter Braid told Mika: “This was a serious offence, but I cannot say there is no alternative to custody. There is a community payback order with 150 hours of unpaid work to be completed within six months.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com