Fifteen months' jail for throwing an autistic man down an Edinburgh escalator|
EDINBURGH, Scotland: A man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for throwing an autistic man down an escalator at an Edinburgh shop during the New Year sales.
The assault, in the Zara store in Princes Street, left the victim, Kevin Crowden, with serious back injuries.
Mark Logan, 38, of Musselburgh, East Lothian, had been convicted of the "cruel and callous" attack after Mr Crowden kicked his girlfriend's foot. A jury found Logan guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month. Sentence had been deferred until October 27 for background reports.
Logan, who is unemployed, had denied assaulting Mr Crowden, 38, to his severe injury by throwing him down the escalator on January 2.
The jury heard that Logan and his Canadian girlfriend, Elizabeth Alongi, 34, had been in Boots pharmacy waiting for a prescription. Mr Crowden, who suffers from autism and has serious behavioural problems, suddenly kicked Miss Alongi very hard on the foot. The couple and Mr Crowden swore at each other and Logan chased him into the Zara store.
Witnesses said they saw Logan grab his victim from behind and throw him down the escalator. Logan returned to Boots, where CCTV footage showed him happy and smiling.
Procurator Fiscal, Angie Main, told the jury: "Logan was a man on a mission to get revenge for a kick to his girlfriend." She described his reaction as "cruel and callous."
After the jury returned their verdict, it was revealed that Logan had two previous convictions for assault.
But defence agent, Vincent Belmonte, said Mr Crowden had seven previous convictions for assault and, on one of them, had been given a four-month sentence.
Sentencing Logan, Sheriff Nigel Morrison, QC, said he had clearly over-reacted to the kick on Miss Alongi.
Mr Crowden spent four days in hospital and was treated for two fractures to his spine and cuts across his body, but Sheriff Morrison was told he had made a full recovery.
(Source: BBC News Online, October 27, 2006)