A Metropolitan Police officer has revealed his anger after a teenager who broke his nose as he tried to make an arrest walked free from court with a suspended prison sentence.
PC Darren Jenkins, 47, was left bloodied and with devastating facial injuries after his assailant, Riley Hope, 18, deliberately smashed his head into a patio and punched the officer during an incident in January.
The pictures below show the extent of the assault suffered by brave PC Jenkins during the incident in Leyton, East London.
At a hearing on Friday (14 February), Hope received a six months’ prison sentence at Thames Magistrates’ Court, suspended for 24 months and 200 hours unpaid work for the vicious attack – a decision which has left PC Jenkins and colleagues across the Metropolitan Police “flabbergasted”.
In what officers are calling a “terrible indictment of our Criminal Justice System”, PC Jenkins – who has been a Metropolitan Police officer for seven years – said he ‘almost expected’ the court’s lenient sentencing decision after Hope had pleaded guilty to ABH.
PC Jenkins, who is still off work with his injuries, says the sentence shows there are no deterrents to stop would-be thugs from attacking police officers in the street.
In his words, politicians have been “all mouth and no action” when it comes to protecting emergency service workers from being assaulted by the public.
PC Jenkins said:
“I love being a police officer. I’ve always wanted to do it. I love going out, going to those calls where someone is getting assaulted and I just want to get there as quickly as possible and help them.
“I love protecting the public… but who protects us?
“If all the evidence is there, body-worn video is there and if they are found guilty or admit doing it, then there has to be a mandatory jail term for people who assault police officers.”
“I was angry at the time about what Hope did. But I sort of expected the sentence, in a way, which is pretty sad.
“There is no deterrent, and because there is no deterrent, we the police are now having the problems we are having.
“He has supposedly written a sorry letter, but it doesn’t wash with me.”
PC Jenkins and colleagues had been attempted to arrest Hope after he crashed a moped into a concrete post during the morning rush hour of Thursday 23rd January.
Hope then fled through residential gardens where the officer caught up with him and found him hiding in a conifer bush.
PC Jenkins told Hope to come out and tried to drag him out from his hiding spot, but the teenager came out fighting and started to punch the officer in the face.
The officer’s body-worn video flew off in the melee during which he hit his head on a garden patio.
Hope then managed to get on top of the officer and instead of making his escape he stopped to deliberately smash PC Jenkins’ head against the patio before punching him again in the face and breaking his nose.
“He could have run off and been straight over that fence,” PC Jenkins said.
“But he’s purposely smashed my head onto the patio slab, and then he’s landed the punch which has broken my nose.
“He purposely tried to “finish me off” by literally smashing my head.
The way he slammed my head into the floor; I know people are evil, and you see it all the time. But I thought that’s a step too much.
“I was dazed, but I don’t like people getting away, so I jumped over the fence again and through an alleyway to try and get in front of him, but then my Sergeant told me to go to the ambulance.
“When I got there and saw my injuries, I was in shock.”
Hope escaped onto a nearby roof, before Metropolitan Police colleagues and the London Fire Brigade got him down and made the arrest.
Amazingly the incident and the subsequent sentencing has not made the officer, who has ten years’ service with the Metropolitan Police force – including three years as Community Support Officer – question his future.
“When I got home my family were shocked with how I looked and my wife Julie kept saying ‘it doesn’t look like you’, PC Jenkins said.
“The attack has not shaken my confidence as a police officer, but as a dad, it’s only natural that it’s made me think twice about my daughter Chloe who is keen on joining the force.
“I’m not the biggest bloke in the world. I’m 5’11”, she’s 5’7” and has a small frame. He probably would have killed her… Especially with the punch to the face. It makes me think, what would she be getting into?”
PC Jenkins, who is based in Walthamstow, has been full of praise for how The Metropolitan Police Federation and Metropolitan Police Service have looked after him since the attack.
“The force and the Metropolitan Police Federation have been brilliant, my Fed Rep Kamran Qureshi, my Governor, my Sergeant and Chief Superintendent, they’ve all been absolutely brilliant,” PC Jenkins added.
“I am looking forward to getting back to work.”
Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said the leniency of Hope’s sentence had let down police officers and was making a mockery of recent ‘Protect the Protectors’ legislation designed to offer a deterrent to stop emergency service workers from being assaulted.
“I am flabbergasted by this sentencing decision – as every single one of my Metropolitan Police colleagues will be,” said Ken.
“It’s utter nonsense, and the public will be equally appalled. What kind of message does this send?
“An average of 16 Metropolitan Police officers are assaulted every day.
When our brave colleagues are sadly horrifically attacked out there doing their duty, the courts must provide an appropriate deterrent.”
He concluded: “I am afraid this sentencing makes an absolute mockery of warm words around protecting the protectors. We must back up these words with actions.
“Metropolitan Police officers will be feeling significantly let down by this sentencing.”
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