Biker lucky to be alive after sick yobs tie tape across road

A MOTORCYLIST today told how he was lucky to escape with his life after riding into a trap set by youths across a city centre road.

Sean O'Neill was thrown from his bike when he collided at neck height with video tape which had been tied between two lampposts and stretched across Nicolson Street.

The 45-year-old narrowly avoided being hit by buses and taxis as he skidded across the road at 4.30am on Sunday morning.

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He escaped with a dislocated shoulder, scratches and bruises, but police warned the mindless prank could have been far more serious and are appealing for information.

Mr O'Neill said today: "I'm absolutely furious at the sheer stupidity of whoever did that. I hope they catch the swines, I really do.

"I saw the tape at the last second and honestly thought it was going to take my head off. It could easily have been so much worse, all it would have taken is for me to be going a bit faster and I could have died – either from the tape itself or by flying out under traffic coming the opposite way."

Mr O'Neill, who is a media design student at Napier University and works part-time at the weekend as a driver for motorbike taxi company Scoot, added: "I don't know how long I'll be off work for because of my shoulder and mine's not the type of job where you get sick pay.

"I wish people like this would realise the consequences of the things they do, but who knows, they'll probably just go out and do the same thing next weekend until they are caught."

Mr O'Neill had been on his own bike – a Honda CBX 750 – travelling home to Pathhead, Midlothian, when he collided with what is thought to have been VHS video tape near the RS McColl shop.

When he groggily raised his head afterwards, he saw two youngsters fleeing from the scene.

He added: "What was even more unbelievable was that people at the bus stop, who watched the whole thing, were too scared to give a statement to police – that was astonishing."

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Mr O'Neill, who had to be kept in hospital overnight, said his bike would need substantial repairs before he can get it back on the road.

He added: "I don't imagine they'll hand themselves in because they know they'll get the book thrown at them, but I would hope anyone who knew anything would come forward."

Police, who say they have never investigated such a case, say are anxious to trace any witnesses.

A spokesman said: "This may just have been a prank but the consequences could have been far more serious.

"It was an extremely reckless act and if Mr O'Neill hadn't taken evasive action at the last second his injuries would have been worse.

"We would appeal for anyone who saw the tape being put up to get in touch."