Lawyer accused of scattering carpet tacks on race route

A solicitor has appeared in court in connection with the alleged sabotage of the Etape Caledonia at the weekend.

Lawyer and church elder Alexander Grosset was accused of scattering carpet tacks along the roads being used by 3,500 cyclists on Sunday afternoon, according to The Times.

Grosset is alleged to have shown complete disregard for the safety of participants in the Etape Caledonia event, as well as pedestrian spectators.

He was arrested on Monday evening at his home near Bridge of Gaur and appeared at Perth Sheriff Court the day after.

The 62-year-old made no plea or declaration during the two minute private hearing and was granted bail. The case is to be continued for further examination by Sheriff Michael Fletcher.

Grosset's solicitor Sally McKenzie later declined to say whether or not he was still practising with the Fife-based personal injury legal firm which bears his family name.

Grosset, of Tighnacoille, Bridge of Gaur, is alleged to have culpably and recklessly deposited a quantity of tacks onto the surface of the public road, namely the unclassified road between Kinloch Rannoch and Tomphubil, and the B846 between Tomphubil and Aberfeldy.

Grosset has been chairman of the Rannoch and Tummel Community Council and is also a church elder.

Sunday afternoon's race is the largest closed road cycling event in the UK and attracted a total of 3,500 cyclists to tackle the 81-mile course.

A number of cyclists sustained punctures during the event and the road had to be closed for an hour and a half while it was cleared and made safe.

Organisers of the event, which aims to raise over £200,000 for a cancer charity, have already vowed to return to Perthshire next year despite the incident.

As road.cc reported previously, locals have mixed feelings about the Etape Caledonia, the UK's only closed-roads sportive, which attracts around 3,500 competitors.

An online article claims a survey conducted after last year's event found 50 per cent of locals said the event should definitely not be repeated; 17 per cent said probably not - and only 24 per cent were supportive.

Some of those who dislike the three hour event claim it restricts their freedom of movement, and that visitors may be put off coming to the area, affecting tourism and business, and locals could be prevented from getting to church.

Local supporters point out that it attracts 3500 people to the area many of whom will stay at least one night beforehand spending money in local shops, businesses and hotels

The Etape Caledonia raises money for Macmillan Cancer Support and the charity estimated that the event would raise £225,000 this year to help fund its work.