Dundee police officer scratched by addict’s needle

Hilltown Court in Dundee

A drug addict who scratched a police officer with an uncapped needle has been jailed.

Albert McDade, 32, a prisoner at Perth, admitted that he possessed a pair of scissors and a needle and failed to tell a police officer who was about to search him at Hilltown Court on August 18.

He admitted having culpably and recklessly failed to identify that he had the items in his possession prior to being searched, resulting in injury to PC Andrew Barrie.

He further admitted that he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm, shouted, swore and uttered threats towards PC Darren Suttie and his family.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that McDade had been traced at Hilltown Court by police who were investigating another matter.

She said he was placed in handcuffs and asked if he had anything sharp on him that could injure anyone searching him and he replied that he did not.

However, Ms Robertson said that when McDade was searched, a pair of scissors and a rolled-up crisp packet were recovered from his rear jeans pocket.

“PC Barrie was scratched on the hand by the needle contained within,” said the fiscal.

“A cap from a needle was then recovered from his shirt pocket.”

The fiscal said the accused was shouting and swearing.

He told PC Suttie he knew where he lived and knew his brother and his wife and made threats against them.

He also threatened PC Barrie.

The fiscal said PC Barrie attended Ninewells Hospital but did not require treatment.

Solicitor Scott Norrie said McDade had a reliance on heroin although he had moved away from that and only recently returned to it.

He said he had injected heroin shortly before the incident and asked Sheriff Alastair Brown to order reports with a view to McDade getting some form of drug treatment or other form of support.

Sheriff Brown told McDade: “Police officers must be entitled to go about their work without being put at risk, or at least the anxiety of being at risk from a needle, and without themselves and certainly not their families being threatened.”

He jailed McDade for 15 months.