A man who tried to murder a police officer by running at him with a knife and stabbing him in the chest has been jailed for ten years and three months.
Graeme Davidson, 37, admitted carrying out the brutal attack on Constable Derek Laing at a property in Lundin Crescent, Tayport, Fife, on June 29.
The High Court in Glasgow heard Constable Laing could have died if the blade had not struck his breastbone.
Judge Lord Matthews told Davidson on Friday: “Attempted murder is a serious offence, but when the victim is a police officer carrying out his duty, it is an aggravated offence.
“You were not a suspect, but for some reason you stabbed him in the chest. His colleagues managed to restrained and disarm you. The blade only stopped because it struck his breastbone.
“Your victim struggles daily to cope with the effects of this incident.”
Lord Matthews also ordered Davidson, who has anger control problems, to be monitored in the community for three years after his release from prison to protect the public.
The court heard that Constable Laing and colleagues had responded to a 999 call from neighbours at 12.45am concerning a disturbance at Davidson’s cousin house.
Initially Davidson, who was asleep when the police arrived, appeared to pose no threat although he was drunk.
Constable Laing was standing waiting for Davidson, from Tayport, to get dressed. His two colleagues were standing nearby. Suddenly Davidson, armed with a knife, rushed at Constable Laing.
The court heard that Davidson acted with such speed that the policeman had no chance to use his baton.
Prosecutor Margaret Barron said: “PC Laing saw that the accused had his right hand raised above his head and was holding a long slender item.
“At that moment PC Laing thought to himself ‘I hope he is holding a pen’ and then ‘please hit my stab vest’.
“PC Laing felt an almighty impact to his chest and knew immediately he had been stabbed.”
Constable Laing managed to grab Davidson by both arms and force him against the kitchen wall and shouted to colleagues that the accused had a knife and he had been stabbed.
Davidson was handcuffed by colleagues and Constable Laing, who was bleeding from his chest, was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. The blade hit the officer’s breastbone.
Ms Barron said: “This prevented any further damage to arteries, veins or vital organs. Had the blade penetrated any further, it may have resulted in a fatal injury.”
Constable Laing, who is based at St Andrews police station, returned to duty on September 18.
He is currently on modified duties and not involved in any front line work.
In a statement on July 7, he said: “I am struggling on a daily basis to cope with the effects of this incident. I am currently seeking professional help in relation to the mental trauma that this has left not only to me, but my wife and young children.”
Davidson has previous convictions for assault, police assault and possessing a knife in a public place.
Solicitor advocate Iain Paterson, defending, said: “Mr Davidson did not go out of his way to commit this offence. He was asleep and was woken up when the police came to the house.
“He struggles to explain why he did what he did.”