Glasgow & West Scotland

Journalist describes 'postman' acid attack

A crime journalist has told a jury he had acid thrown in his face by a man claiming to be a postman.

Russell Findlay, 44, was giving evidence at the trial of William Burns, 56, and Alexander Porter, 48, who deny the attack in Glasgow in December 2015.

They also deny attempting to murder Ross Sherlock by shooting at him in Bishopbriggs in September 2015.

The prosecution claims the alleged offences were aggravated by a link to serious organised crime.

'Felt liquid'

Mr Findlay was investigations editor at the Scottish Sun newspaper at the time, and is the author of books about Glasgow crime gangs.

The journalist told the High Court in Glasgow that he answered the doorbell at his home about 08:30 on 23 December 2015, dressed in a T-shirt and pyjama bottoms.

He said a man wearing a Royal Mail jacket and carrying a Royal Mail bag handed him a card.

He told prosecutor Richard Goddard that as he leaned down to sign he felt liquid splash onto the right side of his face.

The court heard that this was followed by a bottle flying past and then the man, whom Mr Findlay identified in court as William Burns, trying to barge his way into the house.

'Young child'

Mr Findlay told the 10 women and five men on the jury that following the attack his right eye was blurry and his face was burning.

He said the pair then began to wrestle on the ground outside, and his 10-year-old daughter came to the door.

Mr Findlay said: "She was distressed, she screamed 'dad'. She was in her pyjamas. She was a small young child."

The court heard Mr Findlay told her to alert neighbours and she did so. One of them phoned the police and others came out to help.

Mr Findlay was asked if his attacker said anything and he replied: " I asked him who had sent him and he said 'Wee Jamie' sends his regards."

Police arrived and detained the alleged attacker and Mr Findlay was taken to hospital.

Full recovery

After the incident, a knife was found in the threshold of Mr Findlay's home and a glass bottle was recovered from the hallway.

The court heard that after months of specialist eye treatment Mr Findlay had made a full recovery.

Mr Goddard asked him: "Do you have any reason to believe that attack on you was related to anything other than your work," and Mr Findlay replied: "No."

Under questioning from defence counsel Thomas Ross, Mr Findlay agreed that he had phoned Mr Burns in 2006.

Mr Ross said: "Did you phone him again before this incident about a body found in the River Gryffe in Renfrewshire - is that true or false?" and he replied: "False."

The journalist added that it was "nonsense" to suggest he had been in contact with Mr Burns.

Burns has lodged a special defence of alibi to the attempted murder of Mr Sherlock, claiming he was working at Guinea Enviro in Maryhill, Glasgow, at the time.

He has also lodged a special defence incriminating James Boyce, whose whereabouts are unknown, for the shooting.

The trial before judge Lord Matthews continues.

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