A 26-year-old man has admitted a brutal attack on two police officers using a meat cleaver.
In June last year, David Dowson attempted to murder one officer and endangered the life of another in the incident in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.
Dowson sliced off the tip of one of his victims’ thumb, and both officers suffered severe injuries.
In Glasgow, the High Court heard PCs Josh McCorry and Glenn Coletta were “terrified and feared for their lives”.
Dowson pleaded guilty to attempting to murder PC McCorry by striking him with the meat cleaver outside his home.
The violent thug was initially charged with a double attempted murder on the police officers, but prosecutors accepted his plea to the lesser charge of assaulting PC Coletta to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life.
Advocate depute Margaret Barr said Dowson shouted: “Aye, I chopped your cops up with a cleaver,” as officers put him in a police van following the attack.
She said the two officers were returning a vulnerable child to the block of flats where Dowson lived at about 20:10 on 14th June 2020, but this matter was not related to him.
As they struggled to enter the secure close, Dowson approached them and said he would take the child since he knew him before telling the officers: “I’ll put holes in both of you.”
He was warned about his behaviour and allowed PC Coletta access to the close before, suddenly and without warning, pulling out the meat cleaver, raising it over his head and swinging it directly at the officer’s face.
PC Coletta managed to block the blow with his hand and was severely injured.
Ms Barr said PC McCorry then entered the close and Dowson punched him before bringing the cleaver down full force towards his head, causing him to fall into the wall and then onto the ground.
He kept swinging the weapon at the officer, making contact with him at least once.
One officer managed to escape through the door while the other jumped out of a window to get away from their attacker.
The officers made a radio call for urgent assistance, and additional units rushed to the scene to help their severely injured colleagues.
PC McCorry had the tip of his right thumb sliced off and he suffered a 3cm wound to the top of his head.
Reacalling the incident, PC McCorry told the court: “I actually just feel lucky to be alive. I thought I was going to die.”
PC Coletta required surgery for a severe injury to his right hand, which has left scarring. He was off work for four-and-a-half months.
PC McCorry returned to work after two months.
PC Coletta said:
“Thinking back on it is sickening. It actually keeps me awake at night thinking about what happened.
“I’m lucky to be alive.”
The court heard Dowson had seven previous convictions, including assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life.
Dowson will be sentenced on 6th May.
Ch Supt Alan Waddell, the divisional commander for Lanarkshire, said:
“I would like to commend the bravery and professionalism of the officers involved.
“This was a vicious and unprovoked attack. Not only were these two officers doing their job, they were actually helping a 10-year-old boy at the time.
“Any violence towards our officers is outrageous and disgraceful and will not be tolerated.”
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