Sheriff attacked in street by drunk man

Sheriff Frank Crowe. Picture: Neil Hanna
Sheriff Frank Crowe. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A SHERIFF was attacked in the street by a “drunken man” who had earlier confronted him as he enjoyed a morning coffee.

Sheriff Frank Crowe was in a cafe near Edinburgh Sheriff Court with four colleagues before commencing their day’s duties when Mark Ross approached.

The 28-year-old mumbled something they did not understand before leaving them.

Then, as they headed towards the court building in Chambers Street, Ross reappeared and, without saying a word, kicked Sheriff Crowe on his right leg.

At the court yesterday, Sheriff Alistair Noble deferred sentence on Ross, of no fixed abode, for psychiatric and social work reports.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to assaulting Sheriff Crowe in Chambers Street on July 22 this year.

Fiscal depute Bruce Macrosson told the court yesterday that at 9am that morning, Ross had been refused entry to the Edinburgh Sheriff Court building because he was in a drunken state.

Five minutes later, he entered the cafe where Sheriffs Crowe, Gordon Liddle, Nigel Morrison and Norman McFadyen were having 

“The accused approached the table occupied by the sheriffs and mumbled something towards them which they either neither heard nor understood,” said Mr Macrosson.

“The accused then approached another table.”

The sheriffs left the cafe at 9.20am, and were walking towards the court building when, said the fiscal: “The accused approached Sheriff Crowe and kicked him on his right leg to his injury.”

Sheriff Crowe reported the matter to the police and pointed out Ross as his assailant.

Mr Macrosson added that Sheriff Crowe suffered soreness to his right shin, but did not require medical attention.

Defence solicitor Ray Megson told Sheriff Noble there had been “confusion” over a request for a psychiatric report and asked that the case be continued to obtain one and an assessment of his client’s suitability for residential rehabilitation.

“I want to see if this man can get help,” he said.

“He has a large number of previous convictions, all of the same sort.

“This man is not getting proper medical attention and resorts to alcohol.”

The defence solicitor added: “It is easy to say ‘send this man to jail’, but this problem should be addressed and it is not being addressed as it should.”

Sheriff Noble deferred sentence until later this month for an updated psychiatric report and social work report.