Scottish ex-SAS soldier who used toddler as a weapon is jailed

A former Perth soldier who used a toddler as a weapon to attack police officers has been jailed for 20 months.

Lindsay Rodger was sentenced at Perth Sheriff Court
Lindsay Rodger was sentenced at Perth Sheriff Court

Lindsay Rodger, 36, picked up the hysterical two-year-old girl and used her to hit officers as they struggled to arrest him.

Rodger, who served with the Black Watch and the SAS, was jailed in connection with a drink-fuelled catalogue of crime covered by 11 separate cases at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday.

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The court was told he had carried out attacks on seven police officers. He was also said to have brawled with ten officers, as well as attacking his wife Arlene Rodger and three random strangers in bars.

Rodger, from Skinnergate in Perth, also admitted his fourth offence of drink driving, making bigoted remarks about the travelling community, and several breaches of court orders.

Sheriff William Wood said: “I dare say you are a perfectly nice man when sober and you present that way, but once you have a drink things change.

“You are a man who has served his country and from the information I have you have seen and had to do things most people would find utterly repellant.

“You are one of the few ex-service people I have seen who actually has a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I have been very sympathetic towards you. There is precious little more that I can do. I am at the end of my patience.

“It is also my duty to protect the public and the balance now tips in the public’s favour because you have exhausted all of the other options.”

He told Rodger that if he had been sentenced for each case individually he could have been jailed for up to 11 years, but instead would serve half of the 20-month sentence imposed.

The court heard how the former special forces officer ignored pleas to hand the girl over to safety and instead he lashed out with her to fend off the police.

Rodger claimed the incident was sparked by flashbacks he suffered in relation to his time spent in the military.

Fiscal depute Tina Dickie told the court police had been called to a domestic disturbance that had led to Rodger being left with the toddler.

She said: “Several police officers attended and were met in the common close by the accused. He was holding the two-year-old girl in his arms.

“The police were under the impression the accused was intoxicated. The two-year-old was becoming incredibly upset and police asked him on several occasions to desist.

“However, he became increasingly aggressive and continued making threats of violence towards the police. Officers repeatedly requested that he let go of the child, as she was clearly in distress, but he failed to comply.

“Police were growing increasingly concerned for the safety of the young child as the accused was extremely hostile and aggressive.

“At that point he lashed out with his right hand, striking and punching two officers to the face. Another constable took control of his right arm.

“He appeared to start lashing out with the arm holding [the child]. The police said it appeared he was lashing out with her and attempting to strike the officers.

“Eventually the accused was restrained and the child was safely removed by police officers.”

Defence solicitor Katie Bell said: “He wanted to protect her and when the police were trying to take her from him his instinct was to keep hold of her.

“He is extremely apologetic about this and realises there was no reason for the child to be involved. The fact she was extremely upset brought it all home to him.”

Rodger admitted culpably and recklessly taking hold of the toddler and using her as a shield to prevent officers taking hold of him. He admitted striking officers with her, causing upset and the risk of injury and other harm. He also admitted numerous other offences.

Sheriff Wood told him: “I am surprised someone with your background of military service and so on should have shown such a lack of judgment. If you are drinking to mask post traumatic stress disorder you have to get a handle on it.”