Selkirk machete attacker jailed for over 20 months

Selkirk Market Place.
Selkirk Market Place.

A masked man responsible for a machete attack in Selkirk town centre has been sentenced to over 20 months in jail.

Harrison Long was unable to evade justice despite refusing to leave the prison van transporting him to Selkirk Sheriff Court after its arrival there.

His behaviour was so disruptive that the rare decision was taken for a sheriff, depute fiscal, sheriff clerk and defence lawyer to conduct his case in the van in the Ettrick Terrace court’s car park.

During a three-minute hearing, Long banged on the walls of the van and swore continually, saying he wanted to sack his lawyer.

The 28-year-old was jailed for a total of 640 days after previously being found guilty, following a three-day jury trial, of causing severe injury and permanent disfigurement to his victim, Colin Hendrie.

Mr Hendrie, 42, suffered a five-inch cut to his arm and a fractured elbow during the attack in Selkirk’s Market Place at around 11am on Sunday, February 3.

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 and there was a confrontation about it.

Long was found guilty of repeatedly striking Valentine’s friend Mr Hendrie with the machete to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

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

After sentencing Long to 640 days’ imprisonment in the back of the van, sheriff Peter Paterson returned to the bench and repeated the sentence in open court.

He explained it had not been possible to deal with Long in court “due to the conduct of the accused”.

Long was given 400 days for the machete attack and possession of an offensive weapon.

Before the jury’s verdict was returned earlier this month, Long, of Bemersyde Crescent in Selkirk, had already pleaded guilty to defecating in a cell at Hawick police station on February 4 and smearing his faeces on a camera, walls and a door as what is known as a dirty protest.

He also admitted struggling violently with four police officers and biting a constable’s hand and arm to his injury.

He was sentenced to another 100 days behind bars for those two offences.

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, and was jailed for 140 days for that.

His sentences were back-dated to August 7, that being when Long, originally from York, was first remanded in custody.