9am Briefing: Father of student thrown off train calls for charges

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THE father of a student who was filmed being thrown off a train after a dispute with a conductor has called for charges to be pressed against the passenger who “manhandled” him.

Sam Main, a 19-year-old Heriot-Watt University student, was arguing with the ScotRail conductor about not having a valid ticket on the train between Edinburgh and Perth when a fellow passenger - dubbed “the big man” - stepped in and physically threw the teenager off the train.

The altercation was filmed by another passenger and has become an internet sensation, with around 500,000 views on YouTube.

The “big man” was today identified as Alan Pollock, a 35-year-old advisor for a Capital investment management firm.

Mr Main’s father, Lenny, 43, is today reported as saying Mr Pollock should “have his day in court.”

* A UNITED Nations committee will scrutinise the environmental impact of the Edinburgh Trams project over claims the works have led to a substantial increase in pollution levels.

The committee will hear evidence from campaigners in Geneva tomorrow who believe the scheme has led to a rise in pollution in residential areas.

The project has led to the diversion of thousands of vehicles every day, which now pass through residential streets rather than commercial areas.

* EDINBURGH faces a shortfall of up to 37,000 jobs by 2018, council chiefs have warned.

A new economic development strategy says 4000 public sector job losses are predicted by 2017 and new investment in the city “badly needed”, it was reported today.

The blueprint commits the council to supporting the creation or safeguarding of 20,000 jobs by attracting new investors and regenerating areas such as the waterfront.

* RETAIL sales in Scotland have suffered their worst fall since 1999, figures have revealed.

Total sales in November were down 1.3% on the same month last year, the worst decline for any month since the survey began.

Ian Shearer, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said the figures are “particularly troubling in the run-up to Christmas”.