Road rage driver dragged elderly lady along street

The incident happened on Malcolm Street, Dunfermline
The incident happened on Malcolm Street, Dunfermline

A SERIAL road rage offender who spat on a 65-year-old woman and then drove off dragging her along the street has been jailed.

Gareth Johnstone, from The Calders in Edinburgh, was yesterday jailed for six months and banned from driving for 35 months.

The 30-year-old admitted to following the car driven by the woman’s 75-year-old husband on July 15 in Dunfermline, claiming he braked suddenly in front of him.

The couple, who had been returning home after going to a supermarket, were then confronted in the street by Johnstone.

The offender admitted to driving a car dangerously along St Andrews and Malcolm streets by overtaking at excessive speed on the wrong side of the road in the face of oncoming traffic.

He then drove off at speed whilst 65-year-old Mary Colville had her arm in his vehicle, causing her to be dragged along the ground to her injury before reversing at excessive speed.

Johnston also admitted to assaulting Mrs Colville by spitting in her face on Malcolm Street.

He was sentenced yesterday at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, where he has regularly appeared in the dock for road rage offences.

Depute fiscal Sarah Lumsden previously told the court Mrs Colville and her husband had gone to a nearby Asda supermarket and were driving home when the incident occurred.

Mr Colville was driving and his wife was in the passenger seat. As they travelled along St Leonards Street, they heard a loud revving from behind and then a Honda Civic driven by Johnstone overtook them.

The couple continued on their way home, but Johnstone started to follow them and pulled up on a pavement next to them on Malcolm Street.

A passerby reported seeing Johnstone’s “aggressive manner of driving” and then him arguing with the couple, the depute continued.

Mrs Colville got out of the car and at this point Johnstone was accusing her husband of braking in front of him earlier.

As Johnstone was getting back in his car, Mrs Colville said, “Your mother must be proud of your language”.

The court was told Johnstone then spat in her face.

The woman grabbed hold of his clothing as Johnstone climbed back in his vehicle before driving off at speed, pulling her off her feet for three or four metres before she fell to the ground.

Johnstone then reversed at speed for about 100m. As he departed the area he was followed by a witness who photographed his number plate, leading to police tracing him to his Edinburgh home.

When interviewed Johnstone said “it was just a bit of road rage type thing” and claimed he had “panicked” before driving off.

The woman received treatment from ambulance staff for cuts and grazes to her elbow, knee and hip.

Sheriff Charles MacNair told Johnstone: “This is your third road rage incident in the space of a year and it involved a very, very unpleasant assault.”

Johnstone had already been on community payback order and restriction of liberty orders after being involved in three previous road-rage incidents in Fife.