Tree surgeon attacked Edinburgh beggar

General view of Castle Street in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
General view of Castle Street in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

A tree surgeon assaulted a beggar and two police officers after finding out his wallet was missing.

47-year-old Paul Bimson, from Worthing, was fined £560 after pleading guilty to assaulting a beggar and two police officers on November 12 last year.

He assaulted the homeless man after finding his wallet, containing £600, was missing.

Fiscal Depute, Iain Batho, told Sheriff Kevin Drummond QC that Bimson was seen walking up to a beggar in Castle Street about 7.30 pm, grabbing him by the throat and banging his head off a bin.

The police were called and as they were preparing to place him in handcuffs, Bimson charged at PC Iain Hamilton, knocking him to the ground. He was restrained, but at the charge bar in St Leonards’ Police Station, he lashed out and kicked PC Andrew Crothers on the foot.

Defence solicitor, Murray Robertson, said Bimson and his girlfriend had come up to Edinburgh for a Van Morrison concert.

She had gone to their hotel and Bimson was looking for a present for her. “He got into conversation with the beggar” said Mr Robertson, “opened his wallet and gave the beggar, Greig Quinn, a £5 note”.

Bimson then went to speak to Mr Quinn’s girlfriend who was begging at the other end of Castle Street. “He went to buy her a sandwich” said Mr Robertson “but found that his wallet containing £600 had been taken.

He thought it was the girl, went to where she had been, but she had gone”. “He was furious and lost his cool”.

Bimson went back to where Mr Quinn was, people coming out of a restaurant saw the assault and contacted the police. Mr Robertson said his client had spent the weekend in custody and then had flown up from Gatwick for today’s court appearance.

Sheriff Drummond told Bimson: “I accept at face value the account given for your behaviour. You were the victim of a crime, but you reacted in an entirely inappropriate manner”. He allowed Bimson to pay the fine at £100 a month.