Road rage thug jailed for dragging pensioner along street

 

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 followed the car driven by the woman’s 75-year-old husband, claiming he had 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 the thug. 

Johnstone (30), of Calder Grove, Edinburgh, was sentenced at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, where he has regularly appeared in the dock for road rage offences. 

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 previously told the court that the victim and her 75-year-old husband had gone to a nearby Asda supermarket and were driving home when the incident occurred. 

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

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

He jailed Johnstone for six months and banned him from driving for 35 months. 

Johnstone was 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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