Glasgow & West Scotland

Acid attack accused claimed he was 'only a postman'

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption The High Court in Glasgow heard that the accused was pinned down

A man accused of an acid attack on a journalist claimed he was "only a postman" after being pinned down, a court has heard.

Alan MacIntosh, 66, was giving evidence at the trial of Paisley men William Burns, 56, and Alexander Porter, 48.

They deny assaulting journalist Russell Findlay to the danger of his life at his Glasgow home on 23 December 2015 by throwing sulphuric acid in his face.

They also deny attempting to murder Ross Sherlock by shooting at him.

They are charged with repeatedly discharging a shotgun at Mr Sherlock at Dornoch Place and Ronaldsay Drive, Bishopbriggs, on 24 September 2015.

The prosecution alleges that the offences were aggravated by a connection with serious organised crime.

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

'Who sent you?'

On Monday, the 44-year-old had told the High Court in Glasgow that he opened his front door to Mr Burns, who was wearing a Royal Mail jacket and was asked to sign for a parcel.

He told the jury that, as he went to sign, a liquid was thrown in his face. He also said he grappled with Mr Burns outside.

During his evidence on Tuesday, Mr MacIntosh, one of the victim's neighbours, told prosecutor Richard Goddard that he was lying in bed at about 08:30 on 23 December 2015, when he heard men shouting outside.

He said: "I ran downstairs and put on an anorak and a pair of shoes and went outside.

"Mr Burns was on the ground and Russell Findlay was astride him. Mr Burns was shouting: 'Get this guy off me. I'm only a delivery man or a postman.'

"Russell was shouting: 'Who sent you and what did you throw on my face?'"

Mr MacIntosh added: "I seem to remember as he [Mr Burns] was being led away by the police he turned round and said: 'That's for Jamie.'"

The court heard that Mr MacIntosh had not mentioned the alleged remark about Jamie to the police.

Defence counsel Thomas Ross, representing Mr Burns, asked if he could have heard someone else mention this afterwards and he replied: "It's always a possibility. I thought I heard it at the time."

Broken dentures

Mr MacIntosh was then asked by Mr Ross: "When the man was on the ground, what did he say?" He replied: "Get this guy off of me. I'm only the postman."

He added that he had seen Mr Findlay assaulting Mr Burns and added: "I saw Russell punching him two or three times on the face."

PC David Ross told the jury that when he and a colleague arrived on the scene Mr Burns was being pinned down by Mr Findlay.

When asked if there was anything nearby, he replied: "There was a Royal Mail jacket and a Royal Mail bag and also a set of dentures lying on the ground."

His colleague, PC Fraser Ramsay, said Mr Burns had to be treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary for injuries which included a cut to his left ear, a cut to his chin and bruising.

PC Ramsay added: "His dentures had broken and fallen out."

The court was told that, when searched by police, Mr Burns had no car keys, bus or train ticket on him and had £3.05 in cash.

In relation to the attempted murder of Mr Sherlock, Mr Burns has lodged a special defence of alibi, 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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