Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Etape Caledonia sabotage charge dropped

Halted cyclist
Hundreds of cyclists suffered punctures because of the tacks

A community council chairman has been cleared of sabotaging a cycling race last year after charges against him were dropped by the Crown.

Alexander Grosset, 62, was charged in connection with the scattering of thousands of tacks during the Etape Caledonia last May.

Several hundred cyclists had their tyres punctured by the tacks.

The Crown offered no explanation of why the case was dropped. Police have no plans to charge anyone else.

The Etape Caledonia is the only cycle race in the UK where all the roads are closed to other traffic during the event, which angered some local people because of the disruption it caused.

The 81-mile ride around Pitlochry on 17 May 2009 had to be halted for about an hour-an-a-half after tacks were discovered on parts of the route.

After full and careful consideration of all the facts and circumstances by Crown counsel, it was decided there should be no further proceedings
Crown Office spokesman

Mr Grosset - one of a number of vocal critics of the event - was arrested and charged three days later with culpably and recklessly placing carpet tacks on the road.

The church elder and former solicitor from Bridge of Gaur, Pitlochry, was accused of showing a complete disregard for the safety of the 3,500 participants in the event.

But the Crown Office has now said proceedings will be dropped.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that the procurator fiscal in Perth received a report concerning a 62-year-old man in relation to an incident on 16 May 2009.

"After full and careful consideration of all the facts and circumstances by Crown counsel, it was decided there should be no further proceedings."

Mr Grosset, who is chairman of the Rannoch and Tummel Community Council, was among people targeted in an internet hate campaign after he was arrested.

The incident received much publicity on message boards and forums, where the home and e-mail addresses of some of those against the race were posted.

Organisers of the Etape Caledonia are expecting the 2010 renewal of the event to attract even greater number despite the incident.



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'Not the end' for sabotaged race
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