Man seriously attacked at troubled flats

Police at the scene at Northview Court in West Pilton. Picture: Toby Williams
Police at the scene at Northview Court in West Pilton. Picture: Toby Williams
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NEIGHBOURS have told of their shock after a man was seriously assaulted in front of horrified parents taking their children to school.

They said the victim had been left “hunched double” in agony after the attack, which happened yards from a school near the bottom entrance to the Northview Court multi-storey flats shortly before 9am yesterday.

It is believed the 45-year-old victim had just taken his son to school when he was set upon at the main door leading into the flats in West Pilton.

A 25-year-old man has since been arrested and charged in connection with the serious and was due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.

One mum, who had just dropped her three-year-old daughter at Pirniehall Nursery, said she heard a commotion and saw two men brawling.

She said: “The guys were shouting and fighting. It was happening as people were taking their kids to school.

“There was blood everywhere, all over the floor and street. It was horrible.

“I don’t feel safe around here. There are so many things happening here and it’s always this building. It’s an absolute nightmare.

“The area is terrible for drugs. It’s always drugs or alcohol causing the problems.”

Police and an ambulance rushed to the scene and found the victim with blood pouring from his wound.

He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he was treated for a severe puncture injury.

A neighbour on the stair, who did not want to be named, said he was shocked when he heard about the attack.

“I went downstairs at about 9am and it had just happened. A man was in the ambulance.

“The police had shut off the front so I had to go another way out.

“He was just dropping his bairn off at school with his wife, it’s terrible what has happened. I think he’s going to be OK, but it’s not nice at all.”

Lollipop lady Pat Leamont, 70, was helping schoolchildren to cross Pennywell Road when she saw paramedics arrive.

She said: “I didn’t know what was happening. I just saw the ambulance arrive and he was hunched over double.

“The chap was obviously hurt, he couldn’t stand straight.

“He was hunched over and there were people there helping him.

“He was in the ambulance a good wee while before it drove off.”

The pensioner, who has done the job for more than 30 years, said the area had got worse in recent years.

She added: “These flats are a nightmare, they’re famous for bother. There’s always someone putting someone down. I wouldn’t live there.

“There’s a lot of young ’uns there and there’s a lot of drugs going round.”

Police cordoned off the area and officers kept guard on the stairwell following the attack.

Residents have complained Northview Court is plagued by antisocial behaviour, with police regularly called to ­incidents.

In September last year, a man in his 20s was found seriously injured with neck and arm wounds, thought to be caused by a blade.

At the time it was believed to be the third such incident in the space of a year at the flats.

Frightened locals are now calling for the block to be knocked down to stop it attracting trouble.

One young mum said: “You are scared to take your kids to the stair in case they see something.

“This morning there was blood splattered everywhere. It’s not the first incident to happen there, there’s always stuff going on.

“There’s loads of druggies that live there. I think they should knock it down. It’s really bringing the area down.”

A 61-year-old, who has lived in the area for much of his life, said locals felt let down by authorities.

He said: “We’re all in poverty here and it’s led to a massive drug problem. It never used to be like this but it’s scary around here now.”

SNP leader for Edinburgh, Steve Cardownie, who is on Pilton Central Association, said incidents like this were “a blight on society.” He said: “Obviously these incidents should be treated very seriously and I am sure it is being treated as such by police.

“Such occurrences are a blight on the lives of people who are trying to go about their business and have a decent quality of life.”


A CONVICTED pervert has killed himself – before police could question him over fresh allegations of downloading pornographic images of children.

Former civil servant Alan Manson was found dead by his mother at the home they shared in Mountcastle Crescent last Friday afternoon.

Police had seized his home computer the day before – and it is believed that prompted him to take his own life. It’s thought the 48-year-old – who suffered from depression – could not face the fear of returning to prison.

Manson was previously jailed for eight months in January 2004 after admitting possessing 276 indecent movies, 38 CDs – one with 5263 images on it – and dozens of sexually explicit pictures of children.One image was of a toddler aged just 18 months.

Neighbours have spoken of their shock at the drama which unfolded on their street just yards from Royal High Primary. One near neighbour said: “I came back into the road just after 3pm and there were police cars, motorbikes and ambulances all the way up along it.

“His mother supposedly found him after she returned from shopping.”

Another, who asked not to be named, said: “On Thursday some police officers came and took away his computer. Kids going to the nearby Royal High Primary knew not to pass his house.”

A police spokesman said: “Police and ambulance service were called to an address in Mountcastle Crescent, at around 2.15pm on Friday, March 8 after reports of a 48-year-old man within who had sustained serious self-inflicted injuries.

“He was transferred to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where he later succumbed to his injuries.

“In accordance with standard procedure, a report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Earlier this month we revealed how Neil Kendall, 48, a man accused of gang raping a ten-year-old girl as part of a paedophile ring had also taken his own life. Kendall was found dead at a home in the Oxgangs area on February 22.