Tattooed thug demands pills from carer in vicious assault

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A COMMUNITY carer on a home visit to an elderly patient was slashed by a tattooed thug who demanded she hand over any medication she was carrying.

Tracy Dickson had just got out of her car in Stevenson Road, Gorgie, when the attacker grabbed her from behind and demanded “pills”.

The 40-year-old victim was thrown about violently during a struggle, and suffered a cut in her hand which doctors believe came from a knife.

The mother-of-one said she felt lucky to be alive following the daylight attack by the thug, who had a blue star-shaped tattoo next to his right eye. Police believe the suspect may have lain in wait for Mrs Dickson, who was wearing her carer’s uniform, in a bid to steal drugs from her.

Mrs Dickson said: “I’d stopped in Stevenson Road for one of my usual calls to a patient. When I got out of the car this man grabbed me from behind by my right shoulder. He pushed me against the car and I fell over slightly. He was shouting and swearing, demanding that I give him pills.

“He then grabbed me by the wrist and slashed me with something. I shouted that I was going to phone the police and he let go and ran off.

“I locked myself in the car and phoned the police. I didn’t move until they arrived. My hand was bleeding very heavily.”

Mrs Dickson, who lives in Kirkliston with husband Derek, a city council gardener, was treated at St John’s Hospital in Livingston following the incident, which took place at around 1.20pm on Sunday.

She added: “The doctors told me the cut was probably from a knife. I had to get a tetanus shot and four butterfly stitches.

“I’m also going to the doctor because I have pains in my neck and shoulder that may be whiplash.

“The police said it may have just been an opportunist crime when he saw my uniform and thought I may have had medication, which I didn’t. They also said he may have known my movements from seeing me there before and waited for me.

“He was very aggressive and violent. I didn’t see a weapon but when I think about it now it could have been much more serious. I could have been slashed in the neck or face.

“I’ve only been a community carer for a year. This incident has left me very frightened. I’ve off work for the rest of the week, but I hope when I go back I won’t let this affect my job.”

Following the attack, the suspect ran off towards the skate park in Saughton Park.

He is described as white, in his early 30s, 5ft 5in to 5ft 6in tall, medium build with dark hair, and a spotty face. He spoke with an eastern European accent and was wearing a black hooded top, black silky bomber jacket and dark blue denim jeans.

He had a small blue star tattoo, or a star-shaped mark, to the right of his right eye.

A police spokesman said: “While the suspect was unsuccessful in his attempt to rob the victim, she sustained a cut to her hand for which she had to seek hospital treatment, and has been left shaken by the experience.

“We are appealing to anyone who was in the area of Stevenson Road around the time of the assault, who either witnessed the incident or who saw the suspect in the area, to contact police.

“He has a distinctive tattoo on his face which should be easily recognisable to those who know him. If anyone recognises his description then they should contact us either directly on 0131-311 3131 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

amcewen@edinburghnews.com