Ex-Tory leader fined after gran forced to dodge car

Christine Richard. Picture: Justin Spittle
Christine Richard. Picture: Justin Spittle

A GRAN today told how she and a baby she was looking after were forced to flee from a swerving car driven by a former leading councillor.

Madeline Cosser, 56, said she feared for their lives after Christine Richard – who used to lead the Edinburgh Tory group – drove through a red light.

Victim Madeline Cosser - gran nearly mown down by dangerous driver

Victim Madeline Cosser - gran nearly mown down by dangerous driver

Mrs Cosser was pushing the baby in a pram on a pedestrian crossing in Great King Street, with a green man showing, when Richard, 73, swerved around the corner.

The ex-councillor pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday to a string of road offences committed on June 17 last year, including driving without due care and attention.

Richard, of New Cut Rigg, also admitted “failing to comply with a road traffic signal showing red, approaching a pedestrian crossing showing a walk signal and causing pedestrian Mrs Cosser with a child in a pram to take evasive action”.

She was fined £270 and given five penalty points.

Mrs Cosser, who has since moved to London, said she had been left traumatised by the incident. She said: “It was the most terrifying moment of my life. It was really frightening.

“As I was crossing the road I heard loud beeping and I turn to see people getting out of the way of a silver car.

“I shouted and pointed that I had the right of way but she just kept coming at me beeping her horn and gesticulating with her arm for me to get out of the way. She was looking very angry. She wasn’t stopping.”

Mrs Cosser, who had been walking up Dundas Street after visiting her husband, who worked in the RBS building, ran after the car to try and take a picture of its registration.

“The car had stopped at roadworks traffic lights. I put the brake on the pram and stepped down in front of her car,” she said. “She [Richard] was not happy and I could hear her engine start to rev.

“I took a couple of pictures of her number plate before the lights changed. Two witnesses confirmed to me that they had seen what happened, one of them saw the car going through the red lights.”

Former city council employee Marjory Kenny witnessed the incident and said she was shocked by what she had seen.

She explained: “It was really traumatic, both myself and the other witness have lost someone in a road accident and this was a terrible incident.

“It was also the first time Madeline had taken [the child] out and she has been left traumatised and still doesn’t know why this happened. She was in a terrible state.”

Mrs Richard, who was a Tory councillor in Edinburgh for 12 years and leader of the Conservative group on the then Edinburgh District council from 1989 to 1993, declined to comment. She switched to the Labour Party in 2002, but never held elected office. She was admonished at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in December 1992 when she admitted making nuisance phone calls to her husband’s former wife.