A PRESTONPANS man claimed he was protecting his friend, whom he said had been racially abused, when he caused a commotion on an Edinburgh city centre street.

Scott Herd was with friend Gilbert Nkalapa when he said that a man shouted abuse about his friend’s skin colour from a tenement window at the city’s Blair Street.

Herd retaliated by banging on the stair door and shouting and swearing at the occupants of the flat during the incident in September last year.

Unfortunately for Herd, he had identified the wrong flat, a court was told, and the shocked occupants called the police to deal with him.

The 25-year-old appeared in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday where he pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.

The court heard that the female occupant of the flat was asleep with her children when she heard “banging coming from outside her flat”.

She went to the front door and “saw the accused staring at her”, which was said to have left her “scared”.

The mother contacted the police and Herd and Mr Nkalapa, from Gorebridge in Midlothian, were stopped in the street for questioning.

Herd told the police officers that they were walking down Blair Street when “people at the window called my friend ‘a black b******’ and [said] that they wanted to fight us”.

He claimed he had not been banging on the front door in question but both men were arrested and charged with the offence.

Lawyer Mr Woodburn told the court that his client, of Prestonpans’ Moodie Wynd, had “chapped the wrong door” following the racial abuse and he had wanted to “sort it out”.

Mr Woodburn added that Herd, a pizza delivery driver, had been drinking that evening and “accepts he should have kept on walking”.

Sheriff Frank Crowe said that the woman in the flat must have been “alarmed” by Herd banging on her door and ordered him to pay a fine of £110.

Herd pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and shouting, swearing and repeatedly banging on a door at Blair Street on September 19 last year. Mr Nkalapa, 22, had a not guilty plea to the same offence accepted by the Crown.