Angry coach driver smashed terrified couple’s car window during Edinburgh road rage incident

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AN angry coach driver left a couple terrified after he jumped out of his bus and smashed their car window during a road rage incident in Edinburgh city centre.

Robert Hulston was driving a private hire single decker when he pulled up next to a car driven by Erin Burns in the Capital’s Queen Street.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Pic: Ian Georgeson

The coach driver believed Ms Burns had pulled out in front of him before claiming she was driving “erratically” through the city centre.

As the pair stopped at traffic lights Hulston, 52, jumped out of his driver’s cab and confronted the woman about her driving.

The shocked woman attempted to drive forward a few feet to escape Hulston’s rage but the coach driver smashed his fist through her back window.

Ms Burns then followed the driver to Edinburgh bus station where she called the police to deal with the matter in December 2017.

On Monday, Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Hulston, from Nottingham, was under pressure that day due to witnessing a road fatality on the A1 the day before.

Fiscal depute Lindsay Magro told the court Ms Burns first encountered the bus on the West Approach Road before they both entered the city centre at around 8.50pm.

Ms Magro said the coach driver had flashed his lights at Ms Burns to alert her to her driving but she believed he had been indicating for her to change lanes.

Hulston followed Ms Burns to Queen Street where they both came to a halt due to a red light.

Hulston pulled up beside the woman and began gesturing for her to wind her window down.

After she refused to engage with him Hulston jumped out of the cab of his single decker coach and confronted the terrified woman and her passenger.

As she attempted to get away from Hulston’s rage he lashed out and smashed her rear car window with his fist.

Ms Magro said: “The accused then approached the front passenger side and the passenger put the window down.

“They said ‘you have just smashed our window’ and the bus driver replied ‘you could have caused a crash’.

“The accused got back into his bus and drove in the direction of Edinburgh bus station.

“He was followed by Ms Burns to the bus station where she contacted police.”

Police attended and spotted several “fresh cuts” to Hulston’s hand but only issued him with a police warning at the time as he had a bus full of passengers waiting for him.

Solicitor Mr Shapna, defending, said his client, a father-of-two, had been affected after witnessing a fatal accident on the A1 the day previously.

The brief said Hulston had first come across Ms Burn’s “erratic driving” near to Murrayfield Stadium and drove behind her all the way to the city centre.

Mr Shapna said: “He accepts though he got out of the coach and smashed the window.

“He accepts in hindsight he should not have left the bus.”

Sheriff Robert Fife heard Hulston has two comparable previous convictions and described the bus driver’s conduct during the road rage incident as “outrageous”.

Sheriff Fife added: “This was wholly unacceptable behaviour and committed in Queen Street which is probably the major route through Edinburgh city centre.

“What the public must have thought of this I just do not know. It was outrageous smashing the window of a car with your hand.

“This must have been very upsetting for the driver and her passenger, and suggests to me a complete loss of self-control.”

Hulston was sentenced to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and placed on a supervision order for six months.

The bus driver was also ordered to pay £75 compensation to Ms Burns to pay for her insurance excess.

Hulston admitted to stopping next to a car driven by Ms Burns, gesture to her, approach her vehicle, act aggressively and strike her vehicle causing a window to smash at Queen Street, Edinburgh, on December 29, 2017.

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