Man who drove deliberately at lollipop man outside Edinburgh's Tollcross Primary School ordered to pay compensation

A driver who deliberately collided with a lollipop man in a road rage incident has been told he must pay the man compensation.

By Alexander Lawrie
Thursday, 18th November 2021, 3:04 pm

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John Clark struck crossing warden John Sproul with his car after he had been held up in traffic in Edinburgh city centre last year.

Clark, 50, shouted and swore at the lollipop man when he was forced to wait on Mr Sproul helping children cross the road near to the capital’s Tollcross Primary School.

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John Clark (pictured) struck crossing warden John Sproul with his car after he had been held up in traffic in Edinburgh city centre last year.

As he waited the raging motorist began inching his motor forward forcing Mr Sproul up onto the bonnet of the car.

The lollipop man decided to report the incident to police two days later and Clark was arrested and charged the following month.

Clark, of Little France, Edinburgh, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Sproul by striking him with his car when he appeared at the city’s sheriff court earlier this year.

He was back in the dock for sentencing yesterday (THURS) where defending lawyer Nigel Bruce admitted Clark “should not have been inching forward” and that his client had himself been assaulted during the incident.

Mr Bruce added his client suffers from kidney disease and needs his driving licence to attend hospital three times a week for dialysis treatment.

Sheriff Adrian Fraser said he would take into account “the distanced travelled was very short and at very low speed” and that Clark had “no [previous] convictions for violence”.

The sheriff fined Clark a total of £380 and told him he must pay the lollipop man £100 in compensation.

Previously the court heard Mr Sproul was wearing hi-vis clothing and was helping children to cross busy Ponton Street near to Tollcross primary school in Edinburgh on September 7 last year.

Fiscal depute Emma Laing said the crossing attendant “became aware of a horn sounding” and believed it came from Clark’s black VW Golf which was waiting in the line of traffic.

Ms Laing said: “He continued stopping traffic and at this point the black VW was at the front of the queue.

“The accused shouted out his window towards Sproul and said ‘Who are you? A f***ing lollipop man.’

“The accused Clark began revving his car and inching forward towards witness Sproul.

“Clark then shouted ‘If he doesn’t move I will run him over’ which was directed towards Sproul.”

Ms Laing said the lollipop man was “lifted onto the car bonnet in a seated position” for about two meters before Clark stopped his car.

The pair then became involved in “a verbal disagreement” before Clark drove away from the scene.

Clark admitted to assaulting John Sproul by driving his vehicle towards him and striking him at Ponton Street, Edinburgh, on September 7 last year.

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