Tayside and Central Scotland

Stirling 'happy hangman' actor attacked in alley

David Kinnaird
Image caption The actor has run the city's "ghost walk" for 20 years

An actor who walks the streets of Stirling dressed as "the happy hangman" has been assaulted, police have said.

David Kinnaird was still in his hangman's costume - dressed as 19th Century executioner Jock Rankine - when he was attacked as he walked home.

The 43-year-old was taking a shortcut between Spittal Street and Baker Street when he was knocked to the ground by a man in an attempted mugging.

However, Mr Kinnaird managed to hold on to his night's takings.

The attacker grabbed Mr Kinnaird's money bag, but the leather strap did not break.

The actor suffered facial injuries after he was pushed against a wall and shoved down some stairs.

Mr Kinnaird said he was left "shaken" by the incident but not seriously hurt, and vowed to carry on his work.

He said: "My pride was more dented than anything else - I doubt that the spirit of the Stirling hangman, Jock Rankine, would be impressed that his namesake was knocked down so easily.

"I will know better than to take any silly shortcuts in the future."

The actor has run Stirling's ghost walk for 20 years and is a regular sight among the streets and cemeteries of Stirling's medieval old town during the summer months.

The walk is one of Stirling's most popular tourist attractions.

It offers a "spine-tingling trip through the city's past" and promises "fear, fun and frights for all the family".

The guided tours start at the city's old town jail and visit sites including the ancient Valley Cemetery by Stirling Castle, Mar's Wark, the Stirling Guildhall and Church of the Holy Rude.

Despite his experience, Mr Kinnaird said he believed the city was not a dangerous place to roam.

He said: "I've been haunting those same streets by night for 20 years and have rarely encountered any problems.

"This incident is largely result of my own folly.

"Taking a regular route home through a shadowy wynd, particularly when people know I'm carrying a cash bag, was just plain stupid - and as they say 'forewarned is forearmed'."

Image caption The actor has run the city's "ghost walk" for 20 years

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