A man who put drain cleaner in a children’s “super squirter” water pistol before spraying the corrosive substance at two police officers has been sent to prison for six years.
During the trial, Ipswich Crown Court heard how the fluid landed on the officers’ hands and face, leaving them in excruciating pain and with painful blisters that needed treatment at a specialist burns unit in Chelmsford.
49-year-old Mark Bedwell, of Tonning Street, Lowestoft, was about to be extradited to the USA on the day of the attacks in December 2019.
Bedwell had denied two offences of throwing a corrosive substance with intent to burn, maim or disfigure.
But he changed his pleas to guilty on Monday 28th June.
Isobel Ascherson, prosecuting, said that between 2017 and 2019, Bedwell had fought extradition to the USA for a number of alleged offences.
In 2019 the courts issued a warrant for him to be taken to the USA to face trial.
Bedwell was given prior warning by authorities that officers from the Metropolitan police would attend his home address at 05:00 hours on December 5 2019, to take him to Heathrow Airport.
Two officers from Suffolk Police attended to assist their colleagues, and when they arrived at the address at around 04:45 hours, they found the front door open.
They called out to Bedwell, who was in the kitchen. The officers noticed two suitcases in the hall. When one of the officers stopped to read a note he felt liquid splash on his face and an immediate and intense burning sensation.
He saw Bedwell holding a super squirter which he then aimed at the second officer.
Miss Ascherson said both officers felt “extreme pain and a burning sensation” and had turned and left the house.
Their Metropolitan colleagues poured water over them, and they were taken to hospital before being transferred to a specialist burns unit in Chelmsford.
The court heard one officer suffered blisters to his face, lips, chin, the tip of his tongue, neck, scalp and hands, while the other had injuries to his left ear, fingers and hands.
In a victim impact statement, one of the officers said the attack had affected him mentally and physically.
The other officer said the attack had left him feeling less confident and doubting his future in the police force.
Bedwell was arrested after he turned up at the hospital complaining he had injured his ankle while running away from police.
Detective Inspector Matt Adams of Lowestoft CID said:
“This sentence handed out by the courts reflects the severity and seriousness of the incident. Both officers who were injured have outlined how it has had a significantly detrimental effect on them. The physical pain and discomfort both experienced afterwards has alleviated, but the mental trauma remains for both.
“Any assault or attack on a police officer is deplorable. It is completely unacceptable to assault a person who is simply going out to do their job and do their best to serve the community and to work with and protect the public.
“This six-year sentence is a clear reminder to anyone who thinks they can attack officers without consequence is wrong. We will take action against those people to secure a prosecution and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
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