Man who set Staffordshire Bull Terrier on officers sentenced

A Glasgow man who ordered his partner’s dog to repeatedly bite officers has been blasted by a sheriff for “one of the worst police assaults” he had ever seen.

Jan 7, 2020
By Sarah Vesty
Gordon Finlayson appearing at court. Credit Scottish Policing News Agency

Gordon Finlayson, from Govanhill, previously admitted commanding the Staffordshire Bull Terrier to attack during an incident on Cathcart Road on August 19.

The 35-year-old, who also pled guilty to being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control, also went on to attack the officers himself.

He sunk his own teeth into one of the female constables before repeatedly kicking the other officer to her injury during the incident.

Finlayson, who initially appeared from custody before being granted bail to allow for background reports, also admitted assaulting a member of the public at Naveed Premier Store.

He seized hold of the man’s neck before punching him on the head.

A bite wound on one of the officers.

During sentencing at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday (January 7), the court was told that the seven-year-old dog belonged to Finalyson’s partner and had never shown signs of “violent tendencies” before.

But Sheriff Brian Cameron said he could not be persuaded that the dog did not pose a threat to members of the public and ordered for it to be destroyed.

Sheriff Cameron said: “Charge nine would justify me sending you to prison. That’s one of the worst police assaults I’ve ever seen.

“It is quite clear that alcohol is at the root of your offending. If you do not address that problem, you will very soon end up in prison, there’s no question about that.

“In relation to the dog, I have to consider if the dog would pose a danger to the public. I am not satisfied that the dog doesn’t, therefore I make an order for the destruction of the dog.

“Given your involvement, you will be disqualified from having custody of any dog for a period of three years.”

As a direct alternative to custody, Finlayson was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within six months and placed under supervision for 24 months.

During a previous hearing in December, the court was told how Finlayson also admitted assaulting police officers and possessing an offensive weapon during a separate incident two months before the latest assault.

On June 19, he had been spotted carrying a ten-inch kitchen knife outside his home by a neighbour who called 999.

When officers arrived, Finlayson was found in an aggressive state and told one officer: “We’re going to fight.”

He then dropped the blade before punching the male officer in the face.

After being taken to Cathcart Police Office, Finlayson grabbed another officer by his body armour and said: “This is the last thing you’ll see before you die”.

Sheriff Iain Fleming placed him on a restriction of liberty order for 135 days and ordered him to undergo alcohol counselling for the June 2019 offence.

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