Grieving son shot police officer with crossbow bolt

A man shot a police officer with a loaded crossbow amid claims he was struggling with his father's death.
The High Court, Glasgow. Picture: TSPLThe High Court, Glasgow. Picture: TSPL
The High Court, Glasgow. Picture: TSPL

Christopher Hutchison shot Sergeant Stuart Morrison during chaotic scenes at his home in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, last October.

Armed officers rushed to the property after the 37-year-old was seen with the potentially deadly weapon.

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A judge heard yesterday Hutchison was in “self destruct mode” following the death of his father from cancer two days earlier.

At the High Court in Glasgow yesterday Hutchison pleaded guilty to charges of assault, culpable and reckless as well as wilful fire-raising.

It emerged he already had a lengthy criminal past with a recent jail term for hurling items including heaters and a chest of drawers at police.

Lady Rae yesterday warned him to expect a “significant” prison sentence when he returns to the dock next month.

The court heard police were initially called to Hutchison’s home on the morning of 24 October following reports of a disturbance.

Hutchison was soon seen with a loaded crossbow. His house was near two schools leading to the area being made “secure” as firearms officers were alerted.

Prosecutor Sean Smith QC said the weapon was described as “powerful” and capable of causing “serious injury”.

Mr Smith added: “Firing bolts [from the crossbow] carried clear disregard for the safety of others.”

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Sgt Morrison was one of the armed officers outside the property. He was ten metres away when Hutchison discharged the crossbow with a bolt going through a closed door and striking the policeman. It only broke the skin on the officer’s arm.

A police negotiator was then called to try to calm Hutchison, whose girlfriend was also in the house at the time.

But Hutchison continued to fire the crossbow from a window on to the street. He eventually dropped the weapon, but only after claiming he had “run out of bolts”.

Hutchison then shouted his “neighbours better be out” as he had petrol and was going to set fire to his house. He went on to set fire to curtains in the lounge and an upturned bed in a room. The court heard the blaze spread “rapidly”.

Both Hutchison and his partner were eventually taken out of the house.

Sentence was deferred.