£10k bill for vandal attack

David Aston of South Park West in Peebles who is disabled and has had his car vandalised.
David Aston of South Park West in Peebles who is disabled and has had his car vandalised.
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A vandal attack on a car being treated by police as disability hate crime has left a Peebles man facing a £10,000 repair bill he can’t afford to pay.

David Aston’s Motability car was targeted overnight on Thursday, October 27, in the town’s South Park West.

David Aston of South Park West in Peebles who is disabled and has had his car vandalised.

David Aston of South Park West in Peebles who is disabled and has had his car vandalised.

Mr Aston, 48, believes that the crime might be a result of a dispute over a disabled car parking space, but he is unable to produce any evidence to support that theory.

The vandals left no side untouched as they gouged the panels of his Nissan Qashqai, as well as its number plates.

With the cost of remedying the damage caused estimated to be up to £10,000, Mr Aston says he cannot afford the excess on his Motability insurance scheme to have the repairs done.

Mr Aston, who has only had the car for a year, says he has been left “devasted and scared for what else may happen”.

David Aston of South Park West in Peebles who is disabled and has had his car vandalised.

David Aston of South Park West in Peebles who is disabled and has had his car vandalised.

His wife Jacki said: “This is directly targeted at a disabled man, his wife and his car.

“We are now scared to go out in the streets, and we do not know who to trust.

“We are pretty fed up here, as you can imagine, and I fear for our safety now, especially as I work night shift for 15 hours in Tweedbank, and David is left on his own to deal with this type of behaviour at night.”

The dispute Mr Aston suspects might be linked to last month’s vandal attack was sparked by the creation of a disabled parking space for him in a location previously used as a turning spot, a move he says sparked numerous objections.

David Aston of South Park West in Peebles who is disabled and has had his car vandalised.

David Aston of South Park West in Peebles who is disabled and has had his car vandalised.

The issue is due to be discussed by councillors at Scottish Borders Council’s next Tweeddale area forum later this month.

Mr Aston, a charity fundraiser, was left with cognitive impairment and restricted movement in 2013 following a car crash which resulted in a stroke.

The chartered accountant has previously been in the public eye when he published a book in March documenting his 2005 expedition to the North Pole.

Police are investigating the crime, but, as yet, no one has yet been charged with any offence.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are investigating following a report of a hate crime in Peebles.

“A Nissan Qashqai was vandalised while parked in South Park West between 3pm on Wednesday, October 26 and 9am on Thursday, October 27. Anyone with information which can help is urged to contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”