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Police officer assaulted on Christmas Eve says attacks should not be 'part of job'

PUBLISHED: 13:50 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 29 January 2019

Many people prioritise tackling crime in a future Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt.

Many people prioritise tackling crime in a future Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt.

Archant © 2012

A police officer assaulted on Christmas Eve said attacks on officers should not be "part of the job", a court has heard.

Nicholas Garnham, 25, had been out on Christmas Eve last year but was found unresponsive on a door step in Victoria Road, Diss.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard Sgt James Butler and PC Dion Phillips attended and “tried to speak to him to establish his name and assist in getting him home”.

But Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said the defendant ran away before striking one of the officers in the face after he caught him up.

Garnham resisted arrest and bent back the fingers of the Sgt Butler who also attended.

A victim impact statement made by Sgt Butler described how he had been assaulted a number of times during his 10 year career, although this was the first time he had felt compelled to make a victim statement.

He said he had been looking forward to Christmas - and spending it with his family - as he did not have to work.

But following the assault he could not get to bed until 2.30am and was up again at 6.30am.

He got up having had just three hours sleep but had to go back to bed later that day.

He said what really upset him was “the impact it had on my family”.

He said his six-year-old son had asked him how he hurt his hand.

Sgt Butler said that put him in a “moral dilemma” as to whether he should tell his boy what happened to him.

He said he fully accepted his career choice placed him “in harm’s way” but said he went to work to help people and should not have to accept being assaulted as “part of the job”.

Garnham, of Market Hill, Diss, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker on December 24 last year.

He also admitted being drunk and disorderly on the same date.

Damien Moore, for Garnham, said his client had no previous convictions.

He said: “Unfortunately for him it’s the evil of alcohol that caused him to act in this way”.

He said he knew his downfall had been excessive alcohol consumption and had been to see his GP to try and get that addressed.

He said his client was “very contrite” about what he had done and had tried to apologise to the officers involved and does so through him.

Garnham was ordered to pay one of the officers £100 and the other £150 in compensation.

He was fined £400, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

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