August 2 2014 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Saturday, July 5, 2014
A man who broke the leg of a police officer during an attack on Prince of Wales Road has today been sentenced to 28 months.
Norwich-based officer PC Lee Wilson had been responding to reports of alleged assaults at a nightclub on Prince of Wales Road when the incident happened.
He attended with a colleague, a female sergeant who was also injured.
Mohammed Labead, 19, of Kinghorn Road, Norwich, appeared at Norwich Crown Court today to be sentenced after previously admitting inflicting grievous bodily harm on the officer without intent on January 19 this year.
Labead has also admitted a count of assault by beating in relation to the female officer and another assault by beating on the same night but also pleaded not guilty to another assault which he was told would lie on file.
Sentencing Labead to 28 months in a young offenders institution, Judge Stephen Holt said: “He is a police officer out there in the community doing his duty, keeping us, the public, safe and police officers must expect and will get support from the courts in these sorts of cases.”
Matthew McNiff, mitigating, said he felt “sick”, “saddened” and “ashamed” when he heard how the attack affected the officer who he wanted to apologise to.
He said he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to what was a “drunken, stupid reaction not a drunken, deliberate action.”
Mr McNiff said Labead is young and “deeply immature” and added there was a “lack of premeditation”.
Speaking after the hearing, PC Wilson welcomed the sentence adding it was pleasing to see Labead in custody.
He said: “I’ve served as a police officer for 23 years; suffered bruises and broken ribs but nothing like this. It was completely uncalled for, he just went berserk. There is no justification for that level of violence, especially against people who are there to protect genuine members of the public who want to have a safe and enjoyable night out.”
Commenting on public order patrols, PC Wilson said: “The majority of people want to have a safe night out but with some people there’s been a noticeable decline in the attitude towards police. Nothing appears to be off-limits from verbal abuse, to spitting to being assaulted. This type of behaviour is dealt with robustly but we shouldn’t need to when all we’re there to do is ensure people have a safe night out.”
Duuring the hearing PC Wilson read out a victim impact statemnent in court durig which he described his recovery as “slow” and “painful” and that he suffered with discomfort everyday as a result of his injury.
He said: “Due to my age, both my physiotherapist and doctor have intimated it is likely I will suffer from arthritis in the knee within 10 years which will undoubtedly affect my career.”
Taking a moment to compose himself, PC Wilson said the worst thing had been the impact on his family, including his two-year-old daughter and son, aged five.
“My son knows his Daddy is a police officer, he sees me as indestructible; it was hard to see him so upset when he saw that I’d been hurt. In the first few weeks after leaving hospital I was unable to climb the stairs to tuck them into bed, read a bedtime story and worst of all, unable to comfort my son after his nightmares of Daddy being ‘hurt by that bad man’.”