Glasgow & West Scotland

Acid attack accused says journalist lies

A journalist has been called a liar by a man accused of an acid attack on him.

William Burns, 56, and Alexander Porter, 48, deny assaulting Russell Findlay to the danger of his life at his Glasgow home on 23 December 2015 by throwing sulphuric acid in his face.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Mr Burns told jurors: "Mr Findlay is incapable of telling the truth about anything."

In evidence, he said: "I went there, but I never threw acid in anyone's face."

Mr Burns told jurors that he had gone to Mr Findlay's home, posing as a postman, to "beat him up".

Burns denied going armed with a knife and a glass jar filled with sulphuric acid.

He said: "I've never used a knife. I've boxed all my life. I use my hands to fight."

At the time Mr Findlay was an investigations editor with the Scottish Sun.

Phone call

Mr Burns said he had been angry after receiving a phone call from Mr Findlay the night before, during which he had threatened to show Mr Burn's wife a photo of him with another woman.

Mr Burns said: "He wanted to talk to me about Darryl Fitch who lived next door to me 25 years ago.

"The boy had been murdered and found in the River Gryffe in Bridge of Weir."

He told his defence counsel Thomas Ross that he refused to help and that was when Mr Findlay had mentioned a photograph.

Mr Ross asked: "Before this phone call had you any intention of visiting Mr Findlay" and Mr Burns replied: "No, no intention whatsoever."

Mr Burns said he knew what Mr Findlay looked like, had seen him driving in the West End of Glasgow and had memorised his registration number.

He said he had done this because he was annoyed about an article the journalist had written about him.

'Knocked unconscious'

Mr Burns said he went to the West End to look for Mr Findlay's car and found it in the fourth street he walked along.

Mr Burns claimed he was attacked by the journalist and a mystery man in the hallway shortly after he knocked on the door and barged in.

He told the jurors he was knocked unconscious by the mystery man, and that he was also stabbed under the chin by Mr Findlay and needed four stitches.

Mr Findlay earlier claimed in evidence that Mr Burns told him: "Wee Jamie sends his regards" when asked who had sent him.

When asked about this, Mr Burns said: "I came from Ferguslie Park that's not words I would use."

'Worst mistake'

Mr Burns added: "The worst mistake I ever made was telling that man I was coming to his door.

"I think they were waiting for me."

Mr Burns suggested that Mr Findlay may have put a corrosive substance on his face himself.

He denied that Porter was his getaway driver.

Earlier, both Mr Burns and Mr Porter were cleared of attempting to murder Ross Sherlock, 35, by shooting him outside St Helen's Primary School, Bishopbriggs, on 24 September 2015.

The trial before judge Lord Matthews continues.

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