28-year-old convicted of machete attack in Selkirk town centre

Selkirk Market Place.
Selkirk Market Place.

A masked attacker armed with a machete set upon another man in Selkirk town centre in broad daylight, leaving him scarred for life.

Harrison Long, 28, was found guilty by a majority verdict following a three day-jury trial at Selkirk Sheriff Court of causing severe injury and permanent disfigurement to his victim.

Colin Hendrie, 42, was left with a five-inch cut to his arm and a fractured elbow following the attack in the town’s Market Place at around 11am on Sunday, February 3.

He only avoided more serious injury by grabbing a traffic sign to defend himself with, the court heard.

Long was also convicted of being in possession of an offensive weapon.

The trial heard evidence that Long’s dog had been involved in a fight with a Staffordshire bull terrier belonging to Karen Valentine the previous day, leading to Long kicking the other dog, and there was a confrontation about it.

Long was found guilty of repeatedly striking Mr Hendrie, a friend of Ms Valentine, to the body with the machete to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

Despite wearing a balaclava, Long was identified as the culprit by Valentine and an off-duty police officer.

Giving evidence, Long denied being in Market Place, claiming he was in a nearby house in West Port at the time of the incident.

He alleged Ms Valentine, 38, was lying, saying she was only getting back at him for sending photos of his private parts over Snapchat to another woman.

Long claimed Ms Valentine was angry as he had slept with her the previous night but then went on to send messages to another woman.

Ms Valentine denies having slept with him, however.

Long, of Bemersyde Crescent in Selkirk, pleaded guilty to defecating in a cell at Hawick police station on February 4 and smearing faeces on a camera, the walls and a door as what is known as a dirty protest, as well as struggling violently with four police officers and biting a constable’s hand and arm to his injury.

On a separate complaint, Long pleaded guilty to being in possession of a metal baton during an incident in Gala Park in Galashiels on December 23, 2017.

His not-guilty plea to a charge of attacking Ms Valentine’s dog was accepted by the crown.

Sheriff Peter Paterson told Long those were serious offences and deferred sentence until Monday, August 26, for the production of a criminal justice social work report and a restriction-of-liberty order assessment.

He refused a motion for bail and remanded Long in custody until then.