Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Student fined for throwing cone off bridge in Edinburgh

George IV Bridge with Merchant Street below
Image caption The cone was thrown from George IV Bridge into Merchant Street below

A student who hurled a traffic cone over a bridge onto an Edinburgh street in the early hours of New Year's Day, has been fined £500.

Jamie Anderson, 19, from Newcastle, threw the cone over George IV Bridge on 1 January this year.

He had previously pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to culpably and recklessly throwing the cone into Merchant Street.

Sentence had been deferred for background reports.

Sheriff Isabella McColl said his actions had been "an act of drunken thoughtlessness" which could have had tragic consequences.

Fiscal Depute, James O'Reilly, had told the court that police officers, who were on the bridge in connection with another matter, saw Anderson pick up the cone and hurl it over the bridge onto the street below.

They arrested him and went to see where the cone was.

It was lying about 20ft from the door of a bar. People were still in the area, but not where the cone had landed.

Mr O'Reilly said to Sheriff McColl: "You may be aware of another incident like this".

Similar incident

In November 2006, an Australian student threw a traffic cone over the bridge into Merchant Street after an evening's drinking.

It hit 24-year-old Kate Flannery, a post-graduate occupational therapy student from Galway, causing extensive injuries to her skull and spine, leaving her arms and legs paralysed.

She recovered, however, and in July 2007, when Andrew Smith appeared at the High Court having handed himself in to the police after the incident was reported in the press and pled guilty to a charge of culpable and reckless conduct, Miss Flannery wrote to the court saying she did not wish him to be jailed.

He was ordered to perform 180 hours of community service.

In court on Tuesday, defence agent, James Stephenson, said the background reports were "very positive".

Anderson, he added, was working hard at university and was regarded as "a model student".

He was also involved in charity work and planned to go to Uganda to work.

Sheriff McColl told Anderson that having read the reports and listened to what had been said on his behalf she would not impose a custodial sentence.

"You are already giving something back to the community through your charity work", she added, but warned him that his actions could have had a terrible result for someone else and himself."

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