Heart condition killed driver trying to defend boss

Edinburgh's High Court. Picture: TSPL
Edinburgh's High Court. Picture: TSPL
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A TAKEAWAY delivery driver collapsed and died from a long-standing heart condition after trying to defend his boss from an assault.

• Former soldier John Auld was repeatedly punched and kicked but suffered minor cuts and bruises

• Mr Auld had attempted to defend Brahim Hamouda, the owner of a Tranent takeaway

Former soldier John Auld, 59, described as a “kind and gentle soul”, was repeatedly punched and kicked by two drunk men and suffered only minor cuts and bruises.

However, the stress of the incident caused his heart rate and blood pressure to soar, and he was dead within an hour.

Steven Archibald, 37, of Musselburgh, and Michael Sutherland, 31, of Wallyford, East Lothian, were charged with murdering Mr Auld but they pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of culpable homicide. They will be sentenced next month. Sutherland also pleaded guilty to assaulting Brahim Hamouda, 52, owner of Kopas Takeaway, High Street, Tranent, East Lothian.

The attacks occurred on 4 March last year, and the High Court in Edinburgh heard that the two men each struck Mr Auld at least ten times and that, before collapsing, he had said he could not believe what had happened to him.

Isabella Cuthbertson, Mr Auld’s partner of more than 30 years, was lost without him, the court was told. She described him as a hard-working and popular family man who would have done anything for her or her children. He was a “kind and gentle soul,” she said.

Mr Auld had joined the army as a teenager and served ten years in The Royal Scots, including three tours of duty in Northern Ireland.