Drunk cyclist ran red light and abused police

Gregor Haddow. Picture: comp
Gregor Haddow. Picture: comp
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A DRUNK cyclist spent a night in the cells after police spotted him riding through a red traffic light in the early hours of the morning.

Gregor Haddow was pursued by officers on routine patrol who had seen him speed past the signal on Greenside Place at around 1.20am on February 14.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard yesterday that the 38-year-old initially ignored the police when they tried to flag him down.

Fiscal depute Liz Paton said: “He was weaving all over the road and they didn’t manage to get him to stop until they put their sirens on.

“He was under the influence of something – he told the officers he was drunk and was told he had gone through a ­red light.”

Officers took Haddow to St Leonard’s police station when he was reluctant to co-operate with them at the scene.

Ms Paton said: “When he was taken to the charge bar he became highly aggressive, raising his arms, waving them around. He asked the officers if they wanted to touch him and see his private parts.

“He was extremely obnoxious, making sexual remarks and he was too unruly to charge at the time.”

Haddow, of Temple Park Crescent, Polwarth, admitted failing to comply with a traffic sign.

He also pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm by repeatedly struggling with police officers and shouting, swearing and making sexual remarks. His not guilty plea to cycling under the influence of alcohol was accepted by the court.

Defence agent Nigel Bruce said that although his client accepted his behaviour, he believed the police officers were “making a point”.

He said: “He wanted to go on his way, and they said ‘you’re not going anywhere’.

“He was manhandled, and had injuries to his hand, bruises to his body, and was taken to the police office.”

Mr Bruce said his client felt that the officers were “cheeky” to him when he told them he suffered from depression.

He added: “He accepts what he did and he spent a night in the cells to reflect on it.”

Sheriff Frank Crowe fined Haddow £200 and told him: “You may not think it’s an offence but if you cycle through a red light at night when you have had something to drink, if you are knocked down or injured by another vehicle, the focus is on the driver, but if you don’t comply with the rules of the road, then it is likely this will happen. Police officers were right to take you aside.”

Last winter, police in the Capital launched a crackdown on cyclists caught skipping red lights and cycling along pavements in busy areas such as Haymarket and the West End.

Officers said “ignorance would be no excuse” for anyone caught breaking the rules, whether on two wheels or four.

Police Scotland figures revealed that 193 riders were responsible for paying almost £6000 in fines for traffic offences in 2012-13.