A GOOD Samaritan was beaten and robbed after she tried to break up a drunken fight in the Meadows.
Stunned sunbathers looked on as the 21-year-old was punched in the face and repeatedly kicked on the ground by a young female thug, before having her phone stolen.
Eyewitnesses said the victim had stepped in to calm the situation after a row had broken out between a group of teenage drinkers and locals enjoying the evening sunshine near Middle Meadow Walk at 6pm on Wednesday.
Two men who attempted to come to her aid were also threatened with a glass bottle by a male member of the teenage gang.
One eyewitness, who asked not to be named, told how she had been watching the group of teenagers drinking nearby from 3pm onwards.
She said: “There were around ten boys and girls and they all looked around 14 or 15 years old. As the day went on they became louder and louder and at 6pm I heard loads of screaming. When I turned to look I saw one girl with another in a headlock. The rest of the group stood around in a circle egging them on.
“Two big guys then ran over to stop it but one of the group picked up a bottle and waved it about. We rang the police but before they arrived the group had run off. What’s incredible is that the Meadows was packed with hundreds of people and apart from the two guys no-one moved to stop it.”
Dr Chris Wigglesworth, a former Meadows councillor and member of Friends of The Meadows and Bruntsfield Links said the group had requested increased police patrols during busy periods.
He said: “Each year we are worried about these kind of incidents occurring. Everyone wants to enjoy themselves in the Meadows but the small few then spoil it for everyone.
“We have requested more police patrols when the park is busy as their presence alone can deter a lot of behaviour.
“I feel very sorry for this young girl who obviously underestimated how selfish some people can be.”
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police are investigating after a woman was assaulted and robbed within the Meadows at around 6pm on Wednesday.
“The victim suffered minor injuries and had her phone stolen after being punched and kicked to the head by a female, who then made off towards Lothian Road with a large group of males and females.
“Local Safer Neighbourhood Teams are progressing these inquiries along with plain clothes officers to identify the suspect and the group she was with.
“Anyone who can assist with our investigation is asked to contact police immediately on 0131-311 3131 or alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
IN February, the city council announced it was looking at putting up permanent cameras in the Meadows in a bid to crack down on violence and antisocial behaviour.
That came after police issued a warning to residents in December not to walk through the park alone at night in the wake of a series of alleged rapes and sexual assaults in the park and on Causewayside.
Up to 40 Hibs and Celtic football casuals held organised battles in the Meadows last October, while several assault and robberies have also taken place in the park.
In November 2010 three men were attacked and robbed.