Reporter tells court of acid attack on his doorstep

Glasgow High Court. Picture: John Devlin
Glasgow High Court. Picture: John Devlin
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A journalist yesterday told a jury he had acid thrown in his face by a man claiming to be a postman.

Russell Findlay, 44, was giving evidence at the trial of William Burns, 56, and Alexander Porter, 48, from Paisley, who deny assaulting him to the danger of his life at his home on 23 December 2015 by throwing sulphuric acid in his face.

They also deny attempting to murder Ross Sherlock by repeatedly discharging a shotgun at him on 24 September 2015, at Dornoch Place and Ronaldsay Drive, Bishopbriggs.

Yesterday at the High Court in Glasgow Mr Findlay said that he answered the doorbell at his west end Glasgow home around 8.30am on 23 December 2015, dressed only in a T-shirt and pyjama bottoms and with bare feet.

He said a man wearing a Royal Mail jacket and carrying a Royal Mail bag handed him a card.

Mr Findlay said: “He asked me to sign, so I turned to the sideboard at the door and leaned down and said: ‘Where do I sign,” and he said: ‘At the top.’”

Prosecutor Richard Goddard asked: “What happened next,” and Mr Findlay replied: “I felt liquid splash onto the right hand side of my face.”

The journalist told the jury this was followed by a bottle flying past and then the man, whom he identified in court as William Burns, trying to barge his way into the house.

Mr Findlay was investigations editor at the Scottish Sun at the time, and is the author of a book about Jamie Stevenson and another on the turf war between the Lyons and the Daniel families.

Mr Goddard asked: “What did you think was thrown at your face,” and he said: “I thought it was an acidic or toxic substance.”

Mr Findlay told the 10 women and five men on the jury that following the attack his right eye was blurry and his face was burning.

He said his attacker managed to get one or two feet into his home, but he bundled him out of the house and they were wrestling on the ground outside. Mr Findlay told the court at this point his ten-year-old daughter whom he thought was asleep in bed came to the door.

The court heard that her father told her to alert neighbours and she did so. One of them phoned the police and others came out to help.

Police arrived and detained the alleged attacker and Mr Findlay was taken to hospital. He has since recovered.

The trial before judge Lord Matthews continues.