A PRISONER who had been placed in a cell for his own protection after taking drugs attacked an officer.

Gordon Kerr was being housed in A Hall at Barlinnie when he was moved to an observation cell when he was found to be under the influence.

This week, Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how the 26-year-old became agitated on July 30, 2019, and demanded he be returned back to his own cell.

The depute fiscal told the court how three officers visited him and explained that it was Scottish Prison Service policy that any inmate who had taken drugs must be observed until seen by a doctor.

Kerr was told a duty doctor would not be available until the next day and initially took this news well.

But as the officers turned to leave his cell Kerr lashed out and punched one of the men, leaving a red mark on the left side of his face.

He did not need medical treatment. 

Sheriff Patricia Pryce said it was "utterly miraculous" that Kerr, who was no longer on remand, had been granted bail given his "horrendous record". 

Kerr's defence brief said: "He is someone who, at that particular time, was in the grip of a drug problem.

"He has spent much of his life in the grip of that same problem.

"He took issue at the way he was dealt with at that time and he felt he was being harassed by the prison officers.

"Each time this man comes before the courts it is dealt with by way of a custodial sentence or a financial penalty."

The lawyer went on to ask Sheriff Pryce to provide his client with a community-based sentence that would give him support to quit reoffending.

He added that Kerr, from Ruchill, is currently working well with services and managing his addiction.

The sheriff told him he was facing custody for the attack and said "you have got a bad record for violence".

She added: "I accept that will be down to your history of addiction and you seem to be having a stable period in your life - for the first time there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"You are well aware that the prison policy exists to keep you safe.

"People should not be assaulted in the course of their employment."

Kerr was sentenced to a community payback order with 18 months of supervision and told to carry out 210 hours of unpaid work.

He was also given a tag for two failures to appear at court that will keep him at home for a total of 75 days between the hours of 8pm and 7am.

Sheriff Pryce added: "If there is a single breach without a reasonable excuse I will have no hesitation in sending you to jail."