A MACHETE thug who tried to kill a police officer is behind bars.

Craig Brown, 31, repeatedly lashed out at Sergeant Brian Simpson, who was left fearing for his life.

The scared officer told jurors he had never experienced anything like it during his 19-year career.

Brown was today convicted of attempted murder following the incident in Dumbarton, last September.

Judge Lord Clark told Brown: "In a terrifying attack you came at him with a machete, swung at him and came close to striking him.

"This type of assault is atrocious. When it is carried out on a police officer carrying out his duty, it is utterly contemptible."

Brown - who already had a history of violence - was remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.

The incident happened after Sgt Simpson, 44, had been called to someone acting suspiciously in the street.

He was alone when he spotted Brown and initially asked if was he okay.

Brown replied: “Are you an armed response unit?”

Sgt Simpson told the jury: “It was an unusual question. I said no. He then stated: 'Well, you better get one'.

“I knew exactly what he meant as he then withdrew a long machete from his right trouser leg.

“He immediately held it out...in an aggressive, threatening manner.”

Sgt Simpson initially brought out his incapacitant spray to try and ward off the man.

The officer said Brown instead was “waving” the weapon about, and told him: “You better hope armed police are on their way.”

Sgt Simpson added: “He ran at me with the sword...I ran behind a vehicle to create a barrier.

“I saw him wave the sword just missing my back. By that time, it was only a couple of feet away.”

Sgt Simpson used his spray with no success, and was forced to call for back up.

He told the jury: “I was scared. I was there by myself in front of someone telling me to get firearms officers.

“There was absolutely no need to be walking about the streets with it.

“If that had struck me, it would have caused significant injuries.”

Brown also “chopped down” on Sgt Simpson's car and smashed a window.

But, he suddenly fled when other officers arrived.

Sgt Simpson told the court: “I have never been threatened with a weapon like this in my service.

“He was trying to stab me with it, attack me. I felt shocked that someone could be walking the streets like that.

“There were a lot of 'what ifs' afterwards like what if I had not reacted as quickly as I did do.

“He could have killed me.”

Prosecutors described the machete as a "horrific looking weapon".

Brown did not give evidence during the trial, but denied attempted murder.

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