Soldiers threw sandbags from George IV Bridge

The sandbags were thrown into Merchant Street
The sandbags were thrown into Merchant Street

TWO serving soldiers who had been out celebrating the end of a training course in Edinburgh hurled sandbags from George IV Bridge.

Karl Wainwright, 26, of The Black Watch, and Ben Peters, 22, of the Royal Dragoon Guards, were each fined £2400 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday.

CCTV footage showed Wainwright and Peters taking a cursory glance over the bridge, collecting the sandbags from the road and hurling them over without looking to see if there was anyone there.

They both previously admitted throwing the sandbags into Merchant Street at 3am on January 21 last year and sentence had been deferred.

Sheriff Kenneth Maciver QC told the men: “Unfortunately this is not an uncommon occurrence. In fact, too many people throw things over this bridge.

“A few years ago a young woman was seriously injured. It is a highly dangerous activity. It is absolutely obvious you could not predict where the sandbags would land.”

Wainwright’s solicitor, Mark Hutchison, told Sheriff Maciver there had been four men on a night out after completing a training course and too much drink had been taken. He said: “It was an isolated incident of extreme stupidity.”

Charles Morrison, appearing for Peters, also described his client’s actions as “extremely stupid and dangerous”.

Sentencing the men, Sheriff Maciver told them: “It is extremely disappointing to see two members of our Armed Forces here in court, facing a custodial sentence, for what I describe as stupid and dangerous behaviour in the city centre of Edinburgh when you were both extremely drunk.

“It simply does not bear thinking about what that could do to someone if it had landed on their heads.”