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Burly Forfar thug broke police officer’s leg in violent struggle

Connor Collins
Connor Collins arrives at Dundee Sheriff Court

A burly thug who told police he would “break their legs” left one officer with a badly broken ankle and long-term ligament damage.

Connor Collins smashed the officer’s ankle so severely his foot was left facing the wrong direction and he required emergency surgery.

A court was told PC John Annand’s confidence had been badly dented by the incident and he had been off work for months as a result.

However, Collins walked free from court after a sheriff was told he had expressed remorse and insight into the consequences of his actions.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael said: “This behaviour was entirely inappropriate, as you know.

“It merits a custodial sentence but I have to look at other options.

“An officer broke his ankle in the course of this but I accept that wasn’t your intention.

“I view the threats you made towards them to be as bad as the physical contact.”

Collins was placed under supervision for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work.

He was also placed on a curfew for six months.

Leg break threat

At Dundee Sheriff Court, Collins admitted attacking three officers and leaving one of them with severe injuries when they arrived to break-up a domestic disturbance at his home.

Fiscal depute Alistair McDermid told the court: “A call was made by a neighbour about a possible domestic matter.

“Police knocked the door and the accused started shouting and swearing from within.

“An officer tried the door handle and the accused shouted ‘turn that handle again and I’ll break your f***ing fingers’.

“The accused’s partner opened the door.

“The accused went into the bathroom and stated there would be big trouble if they followed him.

“He stated he wanted to go for a cigarette but was told he would have to stay with the officers.”

Collins shouted: “I’ll break your f***ing legs.”

He then pushed one officer and started to struggle violently in a bid to free his arms from the officers’ grip.

Foot pointing in wrong direction

Mr McDermid said: “The accused continued to struggle, flailing his arms around.

“They tried to take him down to the ground to take control.

“PC Hunter fell back onto a chair and the accused fell on top of PC Annand’s right leg.

“He immediately felt severe pain in the ankle and struggled to stand.”

Collins screamed: “I hope that f***ing hurt.”

Mr McDermid said: “PC Annand was unable to move due to the injury to his leg.

“There was an obvious break or dislocation as his foot was now pointing in the wrong direction.”

Given the size of Collins, officers were forced to put on two sets of handcuffs and a pair of leg restraints to bring him under control.

Mr McDermid said PC Annand needed morphine for pain relief at the scene and subsequently required surgery as he had a broken fibula and ankle, as well as ligament damage.

“The recovery process has been difficult, painful and frustrating for him.

“He still suffers pain in his right leg.

“It has negatively impacted his life.

“He is apprehensive about future incidents he has to attend.”

Contrition from accused

Solicitor Douglas Thomson, defending, said his client realised it was “a serious matter” which has had “longstanding consequences for the officer”.

Mr Thomson said: “He has demonstrated remorse and empathy.

“He has accepted full responsibility.

“He recognises he was foolish.

“He should have been able to control himself.”

Collins, 24, from Forfar, admitted assaulting and severely injuring PC Annand by lashing out violently with his arms and legs and causing him to fall.

He admitted attacking PC Neil Hunter by pushing him on the body, struggling with him, and causing him to fall onto a chair.

He pled guilty to attacking PC Jonathan White by lashing out with his arms and legs.

Collins also admitted making offensive remarks and issuing threats of violence during the incident in Forfar on September16.

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