RADIO and panto star Grant Stott today blasted cruel housebreakers who rampaged through his elderly parents’ home, killing their goldfish with vodka and trashing rooms.
Lexia and Leslie Stott, both 75, arrived home from holiday to find their Oxgangs home had been blitzed by thieves.
In what’s believed to be a chilling attempt to set the home alight, the culprits deliberately left a hairdryer switched on, blasting hot air.
They also smashed eggs in the kitchen, poured vodka into the fish tank and wrecked the central heating switch in a vicious bid to deprive the elderly couple from warmth.
Forth One presenter Grant, whose brother is TV and radio star John Leslie, described the trail of destruction as “unbelievably cruel” and revealed that it had taken police two hours to respond to the distressed couple’s plea for help.
“It’s hellish,” he said. “It’s the cruelty of it that jazzes me most. I know that there’s worse things that can happen, that people lose so much more, but it’s the cruel aspect of what they did that is hard to understand.”
His parents discovered the break-in on Thursday and yesterday they were still trying to clear the trail of destruction and establish exactly which of their belongings had been stolen.
Among the most hurtful elements, the presenter added, was the senseless killing of the couple’s pet fish.
“Mum and Dad actually really doted on their wee goldfish. Whoever did it filled the tank to the top with vodka – I can’t fathom why someone would do that. It just seems unnecessarily cruel.
“Take the television and b***** off, okay. But they didn’t just do that, they had to do all these other horrible things. It beggars belief.”
Police Scotland confirmed they are investigating the incident, which happened between Tuesday and Thursday. It is understood there has been at least one other housebreaking in the area over the past month.
It comes against a background of rising concern over housebreakings – last month website moneysupermarket.com revealed three Capital postcode areas are among the worst in Scotland for break-ins.
And it follows criticism of police reaction times to some incidents.
Today, the radio star and former police officer told how his anguished parents waited for help after discovering their home in chaos.
“I left the police 25 years ago, but a major part of what I did then was handling things like this.
“Back then the police had a presence in the community and I don’t see that now. I see the traffic cops but I don’t see the bobbies on the beat. They are in their cars. It took two hours for police to get to the house.
“I can’t remember that being the case when I was on a shift. The calls came through and off you’d go.
“Whether they are not answering the calls right away or what I don’t know. But the worrying thing is people may eventually feel they have to start taking matters into their own hands.”
The incident came in a dramatic week for the mid-morning radio show host. His son, Sam, was caught up in a mid-air drama as he flew home from a sixth-year school trip to South Africa, when his flight was hit by lightning.
The presenter added that the family was “trying to keep things upbeat and positive” and that his parents were “doing fine”.
“They’re 75 and never had anything like this happen before,” he added. “If you look at the law of averages, I suppose they have done okay to get through as a family without experiencing anything like this.”
Earlier he took to Facebook to angrily condemn the culprits, writing: “I believe in Karma and I very much believe that one day you’ll get yours.”
A police spokesman confirmed they are investigating the incident and appealed for witnesses. The spokesman said: “Anyone who has information that can assist officers is asked to contact police immediately on 101 or alternatively the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”