Monday, December 14, 2009

Sectarian attack on Airdrie binman by Celtic fan

Dec 9 2009 by Gordon Robertson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
A COUNCIL insider has blown the whistle on an alleged sectarian assault that has shamed a Coatbridge cleansing depot.
An investigation has been launched into the vicious attack that left a 22-year-old Rangers-supporting binman with fractured ribs.
One of his colleagues – a Celtic fan – whacked him on the back with a shovel in front of other workers.
The shocking incident is now being investigated by police and is the subject of a separate probe by council chiefs.
Our source said: “He is a young dad from Craigneuk in Airdrie who comes from a mixed family and he thought a lot of what was going on was just banter.
“His wee sister goes to a Catholic school but just because he supports Rangers he was attacked.
“His family are very upset that the story is in the paper but it is better to have this kind of thing exposed.
“The council might be embarrassed but they have got to sort this out.
“This kind of thing cannot be tolerated and the guy who did it should be charged
“It shows you how these things can get out of control.
“Anything could have happened to that young boy and it could have been a lot worse.
“I have come to you because I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
The attack allegedly took place at Blochairn in Glasgow but the workers were based at Souterhouse Cleansing Depot in Coatbridge.
Both men are now believed to be based at other depots.
The incident was said to have happened shortly after a Rangers 2-1 win over Celtic on Sunday, October 4.
Our source said: “The boy thought it was bit of banter after the game and was laughing and joking and not taking it seriously.
“He was in the works van together with a lot of other workers and he went out for a break and before he knew it he was whacked in the back with a shovel.
“You could see the mark on him, it was like at tattoo.
“He was in so much pain he went to Monklands A&E and found out he had fractured ribs.”
The council insider added: “It is shameful that none of the workers who saw this have come forward.
“Regardless of your religious or ethnic group this should not have been allowed to happen and it should have been reported straight away.”
Council chiefs are now looking into the incident and allegations that the Airdrie dad was a victim of sectarian bullying.
A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council said: “We do not discuss individual personnel matters.
“However, any violence towards our employees is unacceptable.
“This case will be fully investigated in line with our normal procedures and action taken as appropriate.”
A spokesman for Strathclyde Police confirmed their own investigation into the claims was under way.
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