Man on mobility scooter mowed down child while high on drugs

© DC ThomsonThe incident happened on the Murraygate last August.
The incident happened on the Murraygate last August.

A Dundee man caused a “dreadful scene” in the city centre when he knocked down a young child while driving a mobility scooter under the influence of drugs.

Eric Stewart, who was said to have a severe addiction, was “heavily sedated” when he ploughed into the four-year-old girl as she stood outside a shop on the Murraygate.

CCTV played at Dundee Sheriff Court showed chaos ensuing on the busy shopping street as both the girl and the mobility scooter containing Stewart toppled over.

A crowd of passers-by rushed forward to help following the incident, which happened on August 10, 2018.

Paramedics rushed to the scene and the child was found to have sustained minor injuries.

Stewart, 38, has had his mobility aid confiscated and now has to walk with a crutch after being told he will never be given a scooter again.

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Fiscal depute Lynn Mannion said: “When police officers attended it was clear the accused was under the influence of drugs.

“He appeared heavily sedated and was taken to police headquarters.

“The young girl fortunately wasn’t seriously injured. There was a mark and swelling on her right arm. She was examined by paramedics and there was no fracture.”

Stewart, now living at the Lily Walker centre, pled guilty to two charges of driving a mobility scooter without due care or attention and while unfit through the use of drugs.

A not guilty plea to a further charge of failing to provide a urine sample at police headquarters was accepted by the Crown.

Solicitor Ian Houston, advocating for Stewart, said: “It was dreadful scene.

“He was clearly not in control of the machine. Severe damage and injuries could have been done.

“He has had a longstanding, severe drug addiction.

“He has attended court with a worker from Positive Steps, who is assisting him with the drug addiction.

“It is hoped he will shortly go on a methadone prescription.

Mr Houston added: “He was given this scooter by through the mobility scheme.

“When this came to the officers’ attention they took it away from him and he was told he will never again be given a mobility scooter. He has to walk with a crutch.”

Sheriff Thomas Hughes deferred sentencing until June for a criminal justice and social work report and a restriction of liberty order assessment.