Ian McGaw jailed for attack on police officers

Ian McGaw McGaw continued to attack officers after being sprayed with CS gas

A man who throttled a policeman and threw another officer through a door has been jailed for five years.

Ian McGaw, 26, from Galston, went berserk as they tried to arrest him for throwing a firework into a play park in the East Ayrshire town.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard how he hurled five PCs around "like rag dolls" after being sprayed with CS gas and was so powerful he buckled his handcuffs.

Dean Stevenson, 19, who also attacked police, was jailed for two years.

McGaw admitted culpable and reckless conduct by throwing a firework, punching and kicking two officers, assaulting PC Robert McMeeking to the danger of his life and resisting arrest.

Stevenson, who is also from Galston, admitted punching a female officer on the head and assaulting PC McMeeking to the danger of his life.

The court heard how police went to a house in Galston, in October last year, after fireworks had been thrown in a local play park.

As officers confronted a group of males inside, McGaw showed signs of building aggression and two officers attempted to handcuff him.

Officer choked

McGaw managed to pick up a police sergeant and throw him through a closed door into the next room.

Stephanie MacDonald, prosecuting, said: "The sergeant got up and saw five officers being treated, as he described it, like rag dolls."

McGaw dropped to his knees after being sprayed twice with CS gas, while Stevenson punched an officer in the face.

Ms MacDonald added: "McGaw got back on his feet and lunged towards PC Robert McMeeking, grabbed him by the throat with both hands and squeezed his windpipe with both thumbs.

"He was held against a wall and lifted off his feet. The officer estimated he was not breathing for 20-30 seconds and described losing the feeling in his arms and legs."

PC McMeeking passed out and was freed by a colleague, but McGaw spat on him while being restrained.

PC McMeeking was then kicked on the head by Stevenson, while the latter was being handcuffed.

Ms MacDonald said the pair were put in a van and taken to Kilmarnock police office, where McGaw's cuffs were removed and "found to be buckled and unserviceable due to the struggle".

'Terrible attack'

The court was told that PC McMeeking had since suffered loss of vision which had been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sheriff Alistair Watson said the "terrible and sustained attack on police officers" was so serious he had considered sending it to the High Court for sentencing.

He told McGaw: "You are a man with a history of violence and quite obvious size and strength which you used to press home this attack on the officers, and in particular PC McMeeking.

"The effects on him will be long-lasting, that's obvious to all. The attack was life-threatening and you show no remorse for what you have done."

Sheriff Watson said the sentence should reflect McGaw's "significant risk to the public" and ordered that he be supervised for two years after his release.

He told Stevenson his part in the attack had caused PC McMeeking to lose consciousness, although he had shown remorse and written a letter to the court.

The incident was the second time McGaw had been jailed over a violent confrontation with police.

In 2006, when he was 18, he and co-accused Christopher Quigley, 19, were jailed for a total of seven years after barricading themselves in their burning house and attacking riot police.

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