A man has been jailed and banned from driving after attacking an elderly lady and speeding off with her car while high on drink and drugs.
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, Robert Stewart, a prisoner at Edinburgh, was jailed for three years and disqualified from driving for four years.
The assault and carjacking incident took place around 3pm on Sunday in Westfield Street near Gorgie BMC social club and Sainsbury’s supermarket.
Robert Stewart, 23, assaulted 77-year-old Catherine Tumblety, stole her car, then drove it on the wrong side of the road and collided with another vehicle.
Ms Tumblety had left her red Toyota in the car park at the BMC Club to do some shopping.
When she returned, Stewart approached her from behind and told her there was a nail in one of the tyres.
When she went to inspect the tyre, he said: “Give me your keys” and grabbed her hand. He managed to get the keys and pushed Ms Tumblety backwards, causing her to fall onto a metal staircase, breaking her left wrist and lacerating the back of her head.
Stewart then got into the car and drove off at high speed.
Members of the public contacted the police after seeing the car racing down Gorgie Road, weaving in and out of traffic.
Fiscal Depute, Fiona Nairn, said a woman, driving a blue Mercedes, saw the Toyota coming towards her on the wrong side of the road. It collided with the front nearside of her car, causing extensive damage.
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC told him: “Given your record, which is bad, there is no alternative, but a custodial sentence. Your behaviour was shocking.
“The 77-year old victim must have been terrified by her experience and suffered a very serious head injury”.
Stewart pled guilty to assaulting and robbing Ms Tumblety, stealing her car, driving dangerously and, having only a provisional licence, driving with no L plates or as a qualified driver.
Defence solicitor, Richard Souter, told Sheriff Welsh that his client was “thoroughly ashamed of himself”.
Stewart, he added, had very little recollection of what had happened, having been under the influence of drink and substances.
He had, however, entered an early plea of guilty.
Detective Inspector Bruce Coutts said: “This was a frightening attack on a woman who was going about her daily business in a busy area in broad daylight.
“I would like to thank members of the public who came forward with information relating to what happened.
“Tackling violent crime and removing offenders remains a priority for Police Scotland and whenever such incidents arise we will investigate thoroughly to bring those responsible before the courts.”
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