OAP bailiff beaten by youths at reservoir beauty spot

Thugs brutally attacked an OAP fishing bailiff in the Pentlands Hills Regional Park after he tried to give them safety advice.

Saturday, 1st August 2020, 7:30 am
Harlaw Reservoir, Pentland Hills

Police Scotland are hunting for the gang of four yobs who left the 70-year-old battered and bruised.

They assaulted the pensioner – who has asked not to be identified – after he tried to dissuade them from accessing part of Harlaw Reservoir’s dam, which is out of bounds due to safety concerns.

As he tried to speak to the group one of them pinned his arms back while another punched him repeatedly before they fled.

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The dazed and bleeding elderly man made his way home before calling the police.

A close friend said: “His face is in a pretty bad way – this was a cowardly and brutish thing to do.

“He was simply advising these neds that they were in danger when they turned on him. Four young men against an OAP is hardly a fair fight.”

The attack, on Tuesday afternoon, came after the Evening News revealed a string of anti-social incidents in the park and the Harlaw Reservoir, which is administered by Malleny Angling Ltd (MAL).

MAL bosses have demanded action by Edinburgh City Council, and Pentland Hills councillor Susan Webber said: “This was an assault on a 70-year-old volunteer.”

She added “I am sick of it now and I am so disappointed with what I see happening first-hand. I know meetings are taking place, and reports prepared, but bluntly this is not the time for discussions. We need to take affirmative action and stop this misuse of our precious Pentland Hills Regional Park.”

Robert Ross, company secretary of MAL, had previously warned someone would be hurt if yobs continued to flock to the park.

He said: “Whilst undertaking bailiff duties a volunteer bailiff offered safety advice to a group of four youths who had gained access onto a section of the dam at Harlaw that is closed to the public.

“His good intention was returned with verbal abuse from one of the youths who held his arms whilst another delivered several blows to his face.

“This was a dangerous and unwarranted attack on an elderly man that could have resulted in a fatality.”

He added: “The situation at Harlaw warrants action by local government with implementation of the ‘No Camping’ rule and security cameras at Harlaw House covering the top end of the reservoir.

“The Harlaw area is not safe and generally unregulated.

“Malleny Angling Association has the highest respect for the work undertaken by the overstretched local ranger but the combination of excess alcohol and swimming in a very deep reservoir is a recipe for disaster.”

Police Scotland confirmed that officers had taken a statement from the victim of the attack.

They added: “A man suffered facial injuries in the incident and inquiries are ongoing.”