Booze-fuelled thug attempted to strangle police officer with his radio cable

A drunk thug who strangled a police officer with the cable of his own radio has escaped a jail sentence.

By Alexander Lawrie
Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 4:45 pm
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard details of McCormack's attack on officer
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard details of McCormack's attack on officer

Ryan McCormack grabbed the lead and wrapped it around the neck of PC Callum Turnbull during an alcohol fuelled attack in Edinburgh last year.

McCormack, 25, also left PC Hayley Duncanson with muscle and soft tissue damage to her back, shoulder and wrists.

The two officers had been attempting to help the lout after he had been spotted lying in a drunken stupor at the capital’s George Street by CCTV operators.

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But after helping McCormack to his feet the thug turned violent and attacked PC Turnbull by grabbing his radio earpiece cable and tying it round his neck.

More officers raced to help their colleagues after the CCTV staff raised the alarm and it took six constables to restrain the attacker.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told during last November’s attack on PC Turnbull the radio cable had snapped free from officer’s radio due to the ferocity of the assault.

McCormack pleaded guilty to assaulting both officers when he appeared at the capital’s sheriff court last month and he returned for sentencing yesterday. (TUES)

Sheriff John Mundy said: “This is a very serious matter which in some circumstances could attract custody.

“However after hearing your representation and reading the reports I have decided to draw back from that and impose an alternative of a community payback order.”

McCormack was placed on a two-year offenders supervision requirement and told he must complete the maximum sentence of 300 hours of unpaid work in the community.

The sheriff added McCormack, from Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, could expect “a significant period of custody” if there were any breaches to the court order. If he fails to comply fully, McCormack, who will be the subject of criminal justice reports, could be hauled back into the dock and hit with a custodial sentence.

Last month prosecutor Nicole Lavelle said McCormack was seen lying on the ground after spending the night drinking with his brother at the Standing Order pub on November 13 last year.

The two officers went to his aid at around 1.30am but were soon assaulted by the drunk thug.

Ms Lavelle said the attack was so “ferocious” neither officer could radio for help and the CCTV operator was forced to alert the additional cops.

The court was told that McCormack had an analogous conviction from six years ago and that he was so “incredibly intoxicated” that he could not attend court the day after his arrest as he was still unfit to face justice.

His lawyer said the incident was over in just four minutes and that he had apologised to the officers the following day.

McCormack pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Turnbull by repeatedly striking him to the head and wrapping a cable around his neck and applying pressure at George Street, Edinburgh, on November 13 last year.

He also admitted to assaulting PC Duncanson by struggling with her and kicking her on the body during the same incident.

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