A man who attacked two volunteer police officers while he was drunk and left one with a fractured jaw has been jailed for six years.
Officers were contacted at about 2.15am on Sunday 13th January with reports a group of people had been seen in Colchester High Street, and one appeared to be holding a broken bottle.
Special Inspector Robert Boyle and Special Constable Toby Romani attended the scene and spoke to a group of people, but no broken bottle was seen.
While they were talking to them, one of the group – later identified as Jack Hudson – headbutted S/Insp Boyle in the face.
He punched SC Romani – who was trying to protect his colleague – then kicked S/Insp Boyle in the face and punched him in the head, all while he was lying in the middle of the road as traffic approached.
SC Romani used CS spray to disperse the group, who ran off.
Officers who came to the aid of their colleagues carried out a search and found Hudson, who was charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and assaulting a person causing them actual bodily harm.
The 20-year-old, of Bromley Close, Clacton, admitted the charges at Ipswich Crown Court on 10th April.
He was jailed today, Friday, 5th July, for six years for the attack on S/Insp Boyle and 12 months for assaulting SC Romani, to run concurrently.
S/Insp Boyle’s jaw was broken in two places, and he needed a metal plate fitted.
He lost three teeth and several others were chipped or broken. He is still undergoing treatment for his injuries.
S/Insp Boyle – who has been a Special for Essex Police for 28 years – said in all his time policing Colchester, it was the first time had experienced unprovoked violence first hand.
“In my view I am a very lucky person to still have the abilities to keep going as I have seen other individuals that have had their head attacked who are no longer with us or are confined to a wheelchair or worse,” he said.
The Special added: “I have been first on scene at incidents that range from murder, rape, armed robberies, serious disorder through to violent domestic incidents where my duty was to safeguard vulnerable victims from violent people and trying to help them through some of the hardest times of their lives. I now find myself being one of them, which has given me a deeper understanding of their feelings.”
SC Toby Romani, who suffered facial injuries, said it has not put him off being a Special, a role he has done for around 15 months.
“Being a Special is important to me because it allows me to help my community and also make some great friends, as well as meet some good people,” he said.
Chief Constable BJ Harrington said:
“This was an extremely nasty and cowardly attack, resulting in our officers suffering serious injuries.
“Incidents such as this leave lasting – and in this case, life-changing – effects, both physically and emotionally.
“I will absolutely not tolerate any violent behaviour against my officers and staff, who put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep members of the public safe.”
Superintendent Cat Barrie said:
“This was an unprovoked and appalling attack on two members of our policing family, who were just going about their job to keep the Colchester community safe.
“Our officers, Special Constables and staff show courage and professionalism every day to protect the public.
“Policing can be a difficult and dangerous job at times, and sadly, there are far too many occasions when they are assaulted while trying to do their job to keep our county safe.
“We will not tolerate this kind of abhorrent behaviour and will take robust action against anyone who assaults our staff.”