Arrested man attacked police driver who was taking him to hospital

Lee Chapman was jailed for 4 years 6 months for attacking a police officer. Picture: Norfolk Constab

Lee Chapman was jailed for 4 years 6 months for attacking a police officer. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A drunken man grabbed a police officer round the throat as he was driving him to hospital, and fractured his jaw, a court heard.

Lee Chapman, 26, was arrested in Wymondham, on New Year's Eve, and was being taken for a check-up at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in the back of a police car, when he suddenly reached forward and grabbed the officer round the throat, as he was driving along the A11, Norwich Crown Court heard.

William Carter, prosecuting, said another police officer, in the passenger seat, sprayed Chapman in the face with a spray to make him let go, but was forced to then hit Chapman to make him release his grip.

Mr Carter said the police car was going about 70mph when the incident happened and luckily no accident resulted but the officer had to brake hard, which caused him to swerve.

Chapman was then taken to hospital and Mr Carter said it took four officers to restrain him as he continued to be disruptive.

Mr Carter said the officer, who Chapman attacked, had redness, swelling and suffered numbness to the left side of his face, which was later diagnosed as a fractured jaw, although no operation was needed. He also said the incident had a significant impact on him.

Chapman, of Oakwood Drive, Wymondham, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed four and half years and also ordered to serve an 18 week suspended sentence, which he breached.

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The court heard Chapman, who had previous convictions for violence, when interviewed could not recall what had happened as he was 'very intoxicated'.

Jailing him, Recorder Guy Ayers said: 'This is not the first time you have been involved in acts of violence when you drink too much alcohol.'

He said that someone driving a vehicle was in a 'vulnerable' position and said: 'You would have been aware of that.'

He said he had a read a letter of apology which Chapman had handed in.

Michael Clare, for Chapman, said he deserved credit for his early guilty plea and said: 'Thankfully the officer was not seriously injured.'

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