Disabled man beaten and abused by gang of youths shortly before being rescued from suspicious Saughton fire

A video, which has been seen by the Evening News, shows the braying gang kicking their helpless victim

A disabled man who was dragged to safety from a suspicious blaze at an Edinburgh park was beaten and verbally abused by a gang just beforehand, the Evening News can reveal.

The man, who has not been named, was pulled to safety from a lock-up set ablaze at Saughton Park by a passerby who braved flames to intervene on Monday night .

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It has now emerged that a group of youths videoed a sickening attack on the same man just before the fire was deliberately started.

Saughton FireSaughton Fire
Saughton Fire

A video, which has been seen by the Evening News, shows the braying gang kicking their helpless victim in the head and launching a tirade of verbal abuse upon the man who appears to be incapacitated.

The gang is believed to be made up of young teenagers aged between 14 and 16 and residents have noted that they have been causing havoc in the local area.

Kyle Mcandrew was playing with his kids when fire took hold of the lock-up.

Saughton Park FireSaughton Park Fire
Saughton Park Fire

Yesterday Mr Mcandrew, 32, told the Evening News how he had been playing with his kids when the fire took hold.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Both he and his children were in their back garden by the storage container when his sons noticed that a fire had erupted.

Kyle McandrewKyle Mcandrew
Kyle Mcandrew

At first, he ensured his children's safety before going in for a closer inspection - it was then that he heard the calls for help from a disabled homeless man believed to be in his late 20’s or early 30’s.

Mr Mcandrew said: “My instincts just kicked in when I saw a man lying there. The flames were engulfing the container and my only thought was getting him out of there.

"It was obvious that he had mobility issues and I later found out he had MS.

"The adrenaline just kicked in and I dragged him away to safety. You can see from the video that material is melting and it does not bear thinking about what would have happened if that man had been trapped in there.

Saughton Park FireSaughton Park Fire
Saughton Park Fire

"I'm just glad I could help him."

The man is said to have been planning to stay overnight in the enclosure and it is not yet clear whether he had spent previous nights in the container.

Mr Mcandrew also stated that he had to chase a group of youths aged 14-16 away from the scene of the incident and that he believed they had been seen in the area on CCTV.

A witness who arrived on the scene shortly after the fire was extinguished at 7:30pm said that they had overheard neighbours saying that they had reported several incidents of anti-social behaviour within the enclosure over the past few weeks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tam Smith, Hutchison Vale club leader, contacted the Evening News shortly after the blaze had been reported widely on social media.

Hutchison Vale Lothian Thistle is one of the stakeholders for the pitch and enclosure along with an athletics club and others.

Mr Smith said: “It is horrible to hear what has happened at the Saughton enclosure and by the sounds of things it could have been much worse.

Questions were raised by Hutchison Vale regarding the security of the enclosure over five weeks ago.

Mr Smith has shared correspondence with the Evening News detailing their struggle in trying to gain access for a blacksmith to secure the enclosure.

A police spokesperson said: "Police enquiries are continuing into a fire in Saughton Park, Edinburgh on the evening of Monday 1 June, where a shelter and sporting equipment were set alight. The fire is being treated as wilful.

"The fire has been extinguished and no one was injured. Officers are currently following a number of lines of enquiry."