Edinburgh policeman ‘attacked teenager for wearing football shirt’

A ‘football hating’ policeman punched and throttled a teenager because he had been out having a kick-about with his pals, a court heard last week.

PC Alistair Dunlop is said to have whacked the 14-year-old twice in the stomach before grabbing the lad by the throat during a fiery row at a home in West Lothian.

An inspection of the custody unit at Edinburgh Sheriff Court was carried out earlier this year by HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland (HMIPS). Picture: TSPL

An inspection of the custody unit at Edinburgh Sheriff Court was carried out earlier this year by HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland (HMIPS). Picture: TSPL

Rugby-loving Dunlop, who was visiting the boy’s home at the time, is claimed to have lost the rag and lashed out when found him wearing a Manchester United strip.

The pair allegedly ended up rolling on the floor together when the fight is said to have erupted last April

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a summary trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court that the violent bust-up was one of several incidents where Dunlop lashed out at him.

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He also described an incident where the pair disagreed about President Trump being elected last January which the boy claims ended with him “being grabbed by the neck and pushed onto a dining table”.

PC Dunlop, who lives in Edinburgh, and is stationed in Broxburn, stood trial at the capital court on Thursday where he denies four charges of assault on two children and an allegation of behaving aggressively all between January 2012 and April last year.

The high school pupil’s evidence came from a police interview which was played to the court and was conducted at his home in January this year. He was then cross-examined in person by defence Advocate Vincent Lunny.

During the interview the boy said Dunlop, 43, lived with his girlfriend and when he visited the boy’s home on occasions he began to “over react to things that weren’t that bad”.

The teenager then described the incident when he said the constable punched and strangled him for playing football in April 2017.

He said: “He started to push and hit me and it just got worse. He came round to see me and I had just come in from playing football with my friends.

“He’s one of these people who doesn’t like football - he thinks it’s all racist and homophobic.

“He said I was a thug and I was better than football. He said I should be embarrassed for liking football.

“I stood up and went to walk to the door and he pushed me across the room. He started hitting me and punching me.

“He punched me in the stomach and I was trying to push him away and we ended up on the ground.

“He got me in a hold and started choking me.”

The boy added he was wearing “joggies and a Man Utd top” at the time and Dunlop had called him “a faggot” and that the officer preferred rugby due to the “rugby orientated” school he had attended.

The boy said he had “problems breathing” during the attack and had been left “scared” by Dunlop’s aggressive behaviour.

The boy also spoke of three other occasions when he alleges Dunlop became physically aggressive and violent towards him in the past four years.

He claimed Dunlop told him he “should have more respect for me” when the pair clashed about Donald Trump’s victory in the US election.

The boy said last January’s argument ended with him splayed across a table after Dunlop had assaulted him.

The boy added: “He would be normal then he would just go absolutely mental.”

Vincent Lunny, defending, asked the boy if the “incidents had not been as serious as he is making out” and if he had been the aggressor on several occasions.

The boy denied all the Advocate’s accusations put to him.

The trial in front of Sheriff John Cook was part-heard and will continue next month.