A man who threatened to stab two police officers and took a man and woman hostage has been jailed for a total of nine years and four months.
Kenneth Gibson, 35, was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh after he pled guilty at a hearing last month to two charges of assault and abduction.
His sentence comes after Police Scotland launched a National Assault Pledge, supported by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, to reduce violence and tackle the abuse suffered by frontline workers.
The Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain, KC, said last month:
“Assaults on frontline workers will not be tolerated and Scotland’s prosecutors will help protect their safety through robust action.
“The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will work closely with police to ensure the effective investigation and prosecution of crime.”
At an earlier hearing, the court heard how Gibson confronted two detective constables at a homeless hostel in Edinburgh.
As they tried to usher Gibson away from the hostel, he brandished a blade at the two officers and threatened to kill them.
Gibson then attacked a 60-year-old German businessman who had just left a restaurant with his wife and several associates.
Grabbing the man’s jacket, Gibson then held the knife towards him and threatened to abduct him before the businessman broke free and his attacker ran off.
Minutes later Gibson approached a 32-year-old woman in her car at Viewcraig Gardens, Edinburgh.
She had just left a judo class and was typing her home address into her sat nav when Gibson entered her car and sat in the front passenger seat.
She saw he had a knife and he said: “I am in trouble. Drive or I’ll stab you.”
The woman fought him off before escaping her car to shout for help.
Gibson was apprehended an hour later.
He pled guilty to two charges of abduction and assault with a knife and a third charge of attacking two police officers.
David Green, Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime, welcomed the sentence and said Gibson’s violent actions had jeopardised the safety of two police officers as well as subjecting two other people to terrifying ordeals.
He said, “This was a serious crime. It is entirely wrong that courageous police officers and innocent members of the public are put in danger by an individual armed with a knife.”
Chief Inspector Murray Tait, from Edinburgh Police Division, said: “Being assaulted is simply not part of the job and it remains a priority to robustly deal with any and all attacks against Police Scotland officers or staff.
“The Chief Constable has made a pledge, alongside other emergency services and prosecutors, to reduce violence and abuse against our workers. We will continue to work closely with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to ensure that offenders are prosecuted and justly face the consequences of their actions.
“I would like to commend the bravery of the two officers in this case, as well as the other innocent victims whose safety was put at risk by Gibson’s violent behaviour.”