A thug left two terrified police officers fearing for their lives and permanently disfigured during a brutal meat cleaver attack.

David Dowson turned on PCs Josh McCorry and Glenn Coletta in Wishaw on June 14 last year, chopping off part of one of their thumbs and permanently disfiguring the other.

A judge heard this week how both constables have been left badly traumatised by the 26-year-old’s vicious attack.

Callous Dowson was later heard boasting in the street: “Aye, I chopped your cops with a cleaver.”

The shocking incident emerged as he appeared via video link for a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

He pled guilty to attempting to murder PC McCorry, who lost part of his thumb during the attack.

He also admitted assaulting PC Coletta to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and endangerment of his life.

Dowson – who has a history of violence – was remanded pending sentencing next month.

The court heard how the officers turned up at Greenfield Drive, Wishaw, to escort a child back home.

Dowson suddenly appeared and claimed he would take the youngster.

The thug then stated: “I’ll put holes in both of you. Come to my gaff and see what happens.”

Dowson was warned about his conduct before PC Coletta went with him to a block of flats nearby where he lived.

But, Dowson then grabbed the constable before pulling out the meat cleaver.

Prosecutor Margaret Barron said: “He raised it above his head before striking down with full force towards PC Coletta’s face.”

The officer managed to break free before PC McCorry raced into the close. Dowson then pounced on PC McCorry by repeatedly punching and kicking him.

Both constables hit Dowson with their batons, but he continued to lash out.

The thug went into his home before returning with the cleaver.

Miss Barron: “He used it full force to bring the weapon down onto PC McCorry’s head causing him to fall into a wall and then onto the ground.”

PC McCorry bravely tried to defend himself, but was struck again.

The advocate depute: “Both PCs describe being terrified and being in fear of their lives during this sustained attack.”

PC McCorry got away via a close door while his colleague made a six-foot jump out of a window.

Other officers soon arrived on the scene and Dowson was ordered to get on the ground after he left his home.

He meantime yelled at people standing nearby: “Cops tried to get into my house without a warrant so I went at them with a cleaver.

“I chopped your cops with a cleaver.”

But, Dowson later insisted to police he had never “attempted to murder anyone in his life” and claimed he was acting in “self defence”.

The court heard how the tip of PC McCorry’s right thumb had been sliced off and he also suffered a head wound.

The hand injury continues to affect his job.

Reliving the horror in an emotional statement, he said: “I actually just feel lucky to be alive. I thought I was going to die.”

PC Coletta suffered severed tendons and a fracture in his right hand. He is scarred for life.

He recalled: “Thinking back it is just sickening. It actually keeps me awake at night thinking of what happened. I am (also) lucky to be alive.”

Tony Graham QC, defending, also paid tribute to the officers.

He told the court: “It is a credit to both that they returned to active service after what would have been a terrifying incident.”

Sentencing was adjourned for reports.

By editor2