Vandals write ‘My @rse’ in disabled space

Vandals have painted a derogatory slogan on the disabled parking space outside the home of Alexander Begg
Vandals have painted a derogatory slogan on the disabled parking space outside the home of Alexander Begg
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A DISABLED couple arrived home from their holiday to discover vandals had painted the words “my arse” in giant white letters in their parking bay.

Alexander Begg, who has survived several heart attacks, and his wife Pauline, 57, who suffered breast cancer and other health problems, are both registered disabled and have a dedicated parking space outside their home.

They returned from a recent holiday to find the offensive message daubed in foot-high wall paint in the middle of the space and immediately above the word “disabled”.

To make matters even worse, the city council took several days to remove the graffiti in Forthview Crescent, Currie, because the only machine capable of doing the job was broken.

Mr Begg, 62, said: “I have a few ideas as to who it might be. I think it was probably some hateful locals. It really p***** me off that someone’s done that. I’ve had heart attacks a few times and had to have a heart operation to replace a valve a few years back. I’m on 16 painkillers a day as the operation did not go well, and it’s dangerous to strain myself.”

He added: “Pauline has had breast cancer and has cirrhosis of the liver. She was in hospital for five months a few months ago.

“It really annoys me and Pauline is very upset about it, but I’m not going to let it force us out of here. I’m going to buy a security camera and install it on our front wall so that if something like this happens again I can see who it is for myself.”

Some nearby residents appeared indifferent to the plight of the couple.

One said: “I’m not that bothered really. I’m sure they don’t need the space.”

But Helen Dolphin, director of policy and campaigns at Disabled Motoring UK, said the culprits were guilty of “ignorance” – insisting disabled parking spaces were not handed out “like toffee”.

She said: “Nobody has X-ray eyes. Nobody can see their medical problems, and most people are not medically trained so have no idea. Everybody thinks they have a right to judge others. Actually, this is totally incorrect.

“For these people, somebody writing this is probably quite distressing, because it means that the people around them are judging them and nobody wants to be judged in that way. People do make these assumptions, they do make these judgements – and it’s not right for anybody to be doing that.”

A city council spokeswoman said: “We aim to remove offensive graffiti as soon as possible, but there was a delay in this instance because of problems with the required equipment.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “The incident happened some time between noon on Thursday, September 24, and 3.30pm on Thursday, October 1. Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with relevant information is asked to contact police on 101.”