POLICE are still investigating how a black cab driver came to be lying seriously injured next to his taxi in a Lothian lay-by.
The 52-year-old man was discovered by the side of the A68, about half a mile south of Pathhead in Midlothian, at around 7am yesterday.
The driver was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he remains in a “serious but stable” condition.
Detectives said they believed the man had been the victim of an assault but had not determined how he sustained his injuries. The lay-by was cordoned off by police yesterday while forensic experts examined the Hackney-style cab and the nearby area, including heavy undergrowth.
An employee at a local taxi firm said she had been told the victim worked as independent taxi driver rather than working for a company.
A police spokeswoman said: “This man has sustained serious injuries, and, while we do believe he was subject to an assault of some kind, we are yet to establish the full circumstances.
“Our inquiries are at a very early stage, and we would appeal to anyone who may have seen a black cab in the Pathhead area last night to come forward as a matter of urgency.
“I would also ask any commuters who may have passed the lay-by just prior to 7am to come forward to us – they may hold vital clues about what happened to this man.
“Anyone with information that can assist officers with their investigation is asked to contact us immediately.”
Councillor Peter Boyes, whose ward includes the Pathhead area, said: “This is a shocking incident where a taxi driver going about his business and serving the public has found himself the victim of an attack.
“I think it’s unheard of for a taxi driver to be attacked this way as Pathhead is a very quiet village. It’s difficult to say but this driver may have picked up a fare in Dalkeith where there’s a very busy tank rank.
“There’s often 20 taxis lined up there so it may be that the driver came from there.
“I would appeal to anyone with information, whether they think it might be significant or not, to contact police and help catch whoever is responsible.”