Machete attacker jailed for 20 months

A masked man who lashed out with a machete in Selkirk town centre has been sentenced to more than 20 months from the back of a prison van.

Harrison Long refused to leave the confines of the van when it arrived at Selkirk Sheriff Court after previously been found guilty of the machete attack on a Sunday morning.

His behaviour was so disruptive that the extremely rare decision was taken for the sheriff, depute fiscal, sheriff clerk and defence lawyer to conduct his case in the van in the court's car park.

During the three-minute hearing Long banged on the walls of the van and was continually swearing saying he wanted to sack his lawyer.

The 28-year-old was jailed for a total of 640 days.

He had previously been found guilty by a majority verdict following a three day jury trial of causing severe injury and permanent disfigurement to his victim.

Forty-two-year-old Colin Hendrie suffered a five inch cut to his arm and a fractured elbow following the attack in Selkirk's Market Place at around 11am on 3 February.

Long was also convicted of being in possession of an offensive weapon, namely a machete.

Despite being masked, Long was identified as being by the culprit by Valentine and an off-duty policeman.

After sentencing Long to 640 days jail in the back of the van, Sheriff Peter Paterson returned to the bench and repeated the sentence in open court due to the "public interest" in the case.

He explained it had not been possible to deal with Long in court "due to the conduct of the accused and the case was conducted in the prison van.

"Long was given 400 days for the machete attack and possession of an offensive weapon.Before the jury's verdict Long of Bemersyde Crescent, Selkirk, had already pleaded guilty to defecating in a cell at Hawick Police Station on February 4 and smearing faeces on a camera, the walls and a door - as part of a "dirty protest" - struggling violently with four police officers and biting a constable on his hand and arm to his injury for which he received another 100 days.

On a separate complaint, Long pleaded guilty to being in possession of a metal baton during an incident in the Gala Park area of Galashiels, on December 23, 2017 and was given 140 days jail.

The sentences were back-dated to August 7 when Long was remanded in custody.