Knife attacker admits trying to murder police officer

Constable Derek Laing tried to help Graeme Davidson before stabbing at house in Fife.

Davidson pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow.
Davidson pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow.

A man has admitted attempting to murder a police officer who was left in a “fight for his life”.

Graeme Davidson pleaded guilty to the charge at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday.

The 37-year-old stabbed police constable Derek Laing with a knife at a property in Lundin Crescent in Tayport, Fife, on June 29.

He had been visiting his cousin the previous night and started drinking around 8.30pm before a neighbour phoned police a few hours later.


The court heard PC Laing and colleagues arrived to find Davidson alone and asleep in the bedroom and when he awoke, appearing intoxicated, he questioned why they were there.

Mr Laing, of St Andrews police office and with 13 years’ service, tried to help Davidson find his clothes before leaving him sitting dressed on the bed, with the court hearing the officer had “no cause for concern”.

He stood in the property’s hallway by the kitchen door and Davidson, who had not been placed in handcuffs or searched, left the bedroom in a hurry.

The officer thought Davidson was rushing to the front door, but quickly realised the accused was coming towards him “at speed” with his right hand raised and holding “a long, slender item”.


Advocate Margaret Barron, prosecuting, said Mr Laing’s initial thought was hoping it was a pen before thinking he was “in a fight for my life” as the knife “made an impact to his chest”.

Reports from other officers described Davidson as “lunging” and “jumping” at their colleague, who had no time to react or reach for his protection.

A picture of the weapon measuring three-and-a-half inches in length was shown to judge Lord Matthews who was also told it left a “one centimetre puncture wound” that was “superficial … but could have been more significant”.

Mr Laing was treated by his colleagues before being taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and was discharged at around 3.45am with two stitches.

The court also heard as well as being “greatly concerned for his life”, since the incident the police officer has been “struggling to cope with the effects on his wife and young family” and has sought help.

Chris Fyffe, defending Davidson, told the court the accused “suffered from mixed anxiety” and had been drinking “as a coping mechanism” the night of the incident.

Davidson’s not guilty pleas to assault, assault to danger of life, threatening or abusive behaviour and assaulting an officer in execution of their duty were accepted by the Crown.


Lord Matthews adjourned the case until November 15 to allow for a criminal social justice work report.

You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?