Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 16:35 UK

Football row sparked sword siege

Generic shot of riot police
Officers in full riot gear were called to arrest Cowie

A sword-wielding man held riot police at bay for three hours after a row between neighbours got out of hand, a court has heard.

Alec Cowie, 38, also used a crowbar, knives, a hammer and squirted liquid at officers in a bid to evade capture.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the row was sparked by a football being kicked over a garden fence in Sandhaven, Aberdeenshire.

Cowie, admitted a string of public order offences. Sentence was deferred.

The court was told that a football was kicked into a garden during a barbeque on 5 May.

Police were called after Cowie tightened a noose round the neck of Christopher Beedie, 27, and started to drag him along the ground as he struggled to breathe, skinning his back.

This case involves a neighbourhood dispute which escalated into a lengthy and violent stand-off with the police
Simon Collins
Advocate deputy

Advocate depute Simon Collins, prosecuting, told how two constables were heading for Cowie's home in Forbes Road to detain him, when he appeared, shouting threats.

Knowing who they were dealing with, they immediately retreated to their car to call for re-enforcements.

Moments later their windscreen shattered as Cowie threw an ornament at them.

Cowie also threw another ornament at a window in a neighbour's house. Kelly O'Brien, 21, who was in the living room, suffered a cut arm when she was showered with broken glass.

Members of Grampian Police Public Order Unit arrived at the front door and linked their shields. The glass panel in the door broke, to reveal Cowie, standing in the hall and brandishing a 3ft long sword "with great force and aggression," Mr Collins said.

Once police were inside the house, Cowie retreated upstairs. He leaned over the banister making stabbing motions with the sword and gouging one officer's protective helmet, said Mr Collins.

Pleaded guilty

Cowie was finally led away in handcuffs after giving himself up. The court heard that his mother, who had been standing nearby, told him he would be alright.

"Hitting the police with a sword? I don't think so," replied Cowie.

Cowie pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting Mr Beedie to his injury, breach of the peace, culpably and recklessly throwing ornaments and assaulting police officers to the danger of their lives.

"This case involves a neighbourhood dispute which escalated into a lengthy and violent stand-off with the police in which a number of weapons were used," said Mr Collins.

Lord Kinclaven called for background reports and remanded Cowie in custody pending sentence in Aberdeen next month.




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