Fife woman (65) spat on and dragged along street by road rage driver


A 65-year-old Dunfermline woman was spat on then dragged along the street by the vehicle of a serial road rage offender. 

Gareth Johnstone followed the car driven by the pensioner’s 75-year-old husband, claiming he had braked suddenly in front of him. 

The couple, who had been on a brief visit to a supermarket, were then confronted in the street by the thug 

Johnstone (30), of Calder Grove, Edinburgh, was back in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. 

He admitted that on 15th July in St Andrews Street and Malcolm Street, Dunfermline, he drove a car dangerously 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 the 65-year-old woman had her arm in his vehicle, causing her to be dragged along the ground to her injury and then reversed at excessive speed. 

He also admitted that on 15th July at Malcolm Street he assaulted the woman by spitting in her face. 

Depute fiscal Sarah Lumsden told the court that the woman and her 75-year-old husband had gone to a nearby Asda supermarket and were driving home when the incident occurred. 

He 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 then began to follow them and pulled up on a pavement next to them in Malcolm Street. 

A passer-by’s attention was drawn by Johnstone’s “aggressive manner of driving” and he saw him arguing with the couple, the depute continued. 

The woman 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, the woman said, “Your mother must be proud of your language”. 

Johnstone then spat in her face. When he was back in his vehicle the woman grabbed hold of his clothing and he drove 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 a distance of about 100 metres and as he departed the area he was followed by a witness who photographed his number plate, leading to police tracing him to his home in Edinburgh. 

When interviewed Johnstone said, “It was just a bit 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 called for reports and Johnstone will be sentenced on 27th February. He also imposed an immediate ad interim driving ban. 

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

In one case, Johnstone punched a man who was driving through Inverkeithing with his family in the car. 

He also followed a female driver into a Dunfermline car park and told her, “You’re lucky you’re a bird because I was going to batter you. You shouldn’t cut people up.” 

Johnstone was also involved in a road rage incident at traffic lights in Carnegie Drive, Dunfermline, when he punched a man in the face knocking two teeth out.

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