A man who attempted to attack two Ministry of Defence police officers with a knife in a failed suicide attempt has been jailed for 30 months after being found guilty of threatening with an offensive weapon.
Prashanth Kandhaiah, 30, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, 9 February, after confronting the two officers in Horse Guards Parade in April 2021.
Kandhaiah, who suffers from mental health problems, including schizophrenia, was armed with a knife when he approached the officers.
One of the officers managed to deploy his Taser, while other MOD officers restrained and disarmed Kandhaiah.
In custody, Kandhaiah made comments to officers stating that he thought that if he tried to stab an officer, they were meant to shoot him.
Detectives later found kitchen knives at his home address that were the same make as the knife used to threaten the officers.
Kandhaiah’s mobile phone also revealed a map giving directions to the location of the attack, as well as messages saying ‘Goodbye’.
Kandhaiah’s case is just one example of the many assaults that police officers face on a daily basis in England and Wales.
According to the Police Federation of England & Wales, there were 30,679 assaults on police officers in 2020, with a further 71 assaults on police staff reported every day.
These assaults can have a serious impact on the physical and mental health of police officers, as well as affecting their ability to do their job and keep their communities safe.
The Metropolitan Police, which investigated Kandhaiah’s case, has highlighted the importance of supporting officers who have been assaulted or threatened with violence.
Detective Chief Inspector Driss Hayoukane, of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said:
“Our officers go to work every day to protect the public and keep our city safe. Assaults on officers are completely unacceptable and we will always seek to prosecute those who commit such crimes.”
Detective Constable Tobias Hussey, the investigating officer, added:
“This was an incredibly frightening incident for the Ministry of Defence officers involved, who would have believed they were under attack by someone attempting to seriously injure them.
“They both showed incredible bravery and restraint to disarm Kandhaiah with the use of Taser. It is clear this incident could easily have resulted in a different outcome for all parties involved.”