Wit­ness says tragic stu­dent was clearly at risk be­fore of­fi­cers let him wan­der off

IN­VES­TI­GA­TION

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS - By Han­nah Rodger Hrodger@sundaypost.com

Awit­ness who saw stu­dent Scott Calder just be­fore po­lice took him into a pa­trol car after drink­ing too much has said he was clearly at risk.

His body was found on a beach the next morn­ing after, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cers, he was driven to a bus stop and al­lowed to wan­der off alone. Fraser Arnot, who had been at the same Ok­to­ber­fest event as Scott, de­scribes see­ing the stu­dent walk­ing up the mid­dle of an un­lit road, when he was drunk, was strug­gling to talk or walk, and seemed in­ca­pable of look­ing after him­self. Mr Arnot, a plumber from Tra­nent, who had been at the beer fes­ti­val with his wife and two friends, said: “It took us about 40 min­utes or so to get out of the event. “We left be­fore the very end as we were try­ing to avoid the rush, but it was still re­ally busy.

“Scott was in the mid­dle of the road strug­gling to walk and there was a lot of traf­fic be­ing backed up. He was in a bad state.

“We tried to give him a lift and, look­ing back, we wish we had done some­thing but the po­lice must have got to him within half an hour of us see­ing him.

“When we saw the sto­ries and heard that a man had been found on the beach, we were hop­ing it wasn’t the­same­man­we­saw­butwhenwe saw the pho­tos of Scott, we knew it was.

“I don’t hon­estly know how the po­lice could have thought it was okay to leave him alone.

“In my opin­ion he was in no fit state at all. He could barely walk never mind talk.”

Scott, 23, was found dead ex­actly four weeks ago after at­tend­ing the event at Long­nid­dry, East Loth­ian.

Po­lice told his fam­ily that after a con­cerned mem­ber of the pub­lic raised the alarm, they took Scott into a pa­trol car and drove him three miles along the road be­fore drop­ping him off at a bus stop in Port Se­ton at around 11.20pm He was found dead on a beach a mile and a half away the next morn­ing.

Mr Arnot, 36, was in a taxi trav­el­ling along the Links Road at around 10.40pm, when they passed Scott shortly be­fore a bend in the road.

The group tried to of­fer him a lift, but say their taxi driver was un­will­ing to let him in due to his con­di­tion.

Fraser said: “We thought we could help take him away from the area, it was so dan­ger­ous on that road with no lights or any sort of pave­ment. “Then when we saw a po­lice car round the cor­ner we thought he would be safe be­cause they would pick­himup.

“We haven’t been able to stop think­ing about it since that night to be hon­est. It’s just ter­ri­ble what hap­pened to him.

“I don’t know why he was dropped off in Port Se­ton in that state.

“I can’t re­ally un­der­stand how he would have been fine to be left.”

Scott’s dad Brian Calder said the in­for­ma­tion from Fraser leaves more

We tried to give him a lift, look­ing back we wish we had

ques­tions unan­swered about why his son was left alone.

He said: “To hear my son was hold­ing up traf­fic and ve­hi­cles by stum­bling and stag­ger­ing in the mid­dle of the road breaks my heart.

“It sounds like he was not ca­pa­ble of walk­ing and cer­tainly not in con­trol of him­self.

“A po­lice of­fi­cer should surely have been able to es­tab­lish that and taken Scott to a place of safety, whether that was home, a hos­pi­tal or a po­lice sta­tion.

“To then leave Scott alone only moved the prob­lem down the road, ul­ti­mately lead­ing to his death. How can the po­lice of­fi­cers be­lieve that was the right de­ci­sion?”

Last Satur­day night the Sun­day

Scott Calder’s girl­friend Madi­son Wat­son

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