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7 June 2019, 10:21
A machete-wielding thug who left a police officer fearing for his life during an attempted murder bid has been jailed for 10 years.
Craig Brown was found guilty of trying to kill Sergeant Brian Simpson in Dumbarton last September by chasing him and repeatedly lashing out with the weapon which was also described as a sword.
The 31-year-old was ordered to serve an extended four year period on licence following his release from prison during his sentencing at Glasgow High Court on Friday.
In addition, Brown was handed a one-year prison term for carrying an offensive weapon and six months for damaging a police car with the blade, to be served concurrently.
Lord Clark blasted Brown for his "utterly contemptible" behaviour in attempting to kill a police officer but recognised that Sergeant Simpson had not suffered any physical injury.
He added that Brown had a significant history of violent offending including three assaults, two of which were to permanent disfigurement and one to the danger of life.
A background report found that Brown, who has a history of alcohol and drug misuse, was considered to be at "high risk of further offending".
Brown showed no emotion as he was led out of the dock.
Sergeant Brian Simpson was called to the scene in Ashton View, Dumbarton, last September following reports of a man behaving suspiciously.
The 44-year-old, who was on a single-crewed patrol, found Craig Brown standing in the street before asking him if he was okay. Brown, a prisoner at HMP Barlinnie, asked the sergeant if he was an armed response unit before chillingly stating: "Well, you better get one."
The thug then pulled the machete-style weapon from his right trouser leg and repeatedly tried to strike the officer, who was forced to seek refuge behind a car. Sergeant Simpson called for backup and Brown fled the scene when they arrived.
Brown denied the attempted murder but was found guilty following a trial last month.
A police source said: "It was a machete-style weapon and the blade was about 22 inches long.
"You've also then got the handle on top of that so it was just over 2ft long. It went through the car quite easily.
"The type of call that came in, police officers go to similar ones two or three times a day and it usually turns out to be a false alarm with good intent.
"Often it's someone just waiting on a friend. It could be anything. There was nothing in this case to suggest that this guy was in possession of a weapon of any kind.
"If this officer had a Taser, they probably would have had to use it because of the threat being posed against his life.
"There has been an increase in the number of Taser officers but unfortunately this was almost a 'perfect storm' because both Taser officers in the Dumbarton area were both held up elsewhere.
"It was just one of these incidents that just can't be predicted but the incident could have been resolved differently if he had access to a Taser.
"His family are obviously extremely concerned. They appreciate that when you're in the police that you're exposed to risks that most others aren't.
"But it still comes as a shock to them when their loved one is involved in an incident like this which is thankfully rare."
Brown's prison sentence was background to October 1 when he was first remanded in custody.