A MAN assaulted and abducted another male in broad daylight over a £60 debt, a court heard today.
Carlo Volante, who is already serving a prison sentence for an unrelated crime, pled guilty for the attack on Scott Higginson, which took place on Main Street, Gorebridge.
Shocked bystanders witnessed Volante bundle his victim into a car before driving off. The police were contacted and Volante was later arrested.
38-year old Volante appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, charged with the abduction and assault of Higginson on February 20 last year.
Fiscal Depute, Ann MacNeill, told Sheriff Peter Braid that around 12.30 in the afternoon, Volante was seen holding a younger man and taking him towards a black BMW car.
Ms MacNeill said: “The accused was shouting ‘Get in the f*****g car”.
The witness, she added, was unsettled by the aggressive nature of Volante’s actions as Mr Higginson was placed into the passenger seat of the vehicle and Volante got into the driver’s seat.
“At this point” said the Fiscal “Mr Higginson got out of the passenger seat and made off up Main Street. Other witnesses saw the accused going after him. He seized hold of him by the body, took him back to the car and again forced him into the vehicle”.
The police were contacted and those watching asked Volante what was going on. The Fiscal said: “He replied ‘He owes me some f.....g money. I am taking him to his mother’s’” Volante, she added, said to Higginson “Tell them what you owe me” and the younger man replied “£60”.
As the BMW drove off, witnesses, who had noted the number, gave it to the police. Some of the witnesses were going in the same direction as the BMW and saw it parked outside a house in Braeside Road North. The police were again contacted.
Ms MacNeill said when the police arrived at the house, Mr Higginson was standing outside the address. “They noted his distressed state and asked him what had happened. He was reluctant to speak to the police and refused to provide a statement, but he reluctantly said he had been assaulted in Main Street”.
Defence solicitor, Peter Winning, said his client had given his victim a loan of £100, but only £40 had been repaid. Repeated requests for repayment had been ignored, he said. Mr Winning told Sheriff Braid that Mr Higginson would clearly have had a fright, but had suffered no injury. The distance from Main Street to Volante’s home was about 250 yards and took two to three minutes to travel there. He also added that Higginson’s mother lived in Braeside Road North.
Mr Winning said Volante’s mother had been dying at the time, he had been taking care of her, but drinking to excess. “He very much regrets his behaviour”.
Sheriff Braid told Volante: “It must have been extremely alarming for the complainer. Forcing him into the car, not once but twice”.
Volante is presently serving a prison sentence with an earliest release date of November 4 this year. Sheriff Braid sentenced him to 11 months to be consecutive to that.