Jail for man who flicked blood at four police officers

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A MAN has been jailed for five months after flicking blood at four police officers.

Louis Bibby, 24, admitted assaulting the four officers in Rowan Road, Havant, including kicking one of them.

The sentence was welcomed by Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter, who is campaigning for prison terms for people who assault public officials.

Bibby assaulted PCs Lee Grist, Ben Bowles, Sarah Coolahan and Darren Coupland on August 14.

After he was arrested police found he had cannabis, a class B drug, on him at Portsmouth Central police station.

District judge Anne Arnold jailed him due to the officers’ fear of potential diseases or health issues with the blood.

The judge added Bibby, of Winsor Close, Hayling Island, was fuelled by alcohol or another substance.

Mr Apter told The News: ‘It’s good that the courts have set an example.

‘My personal view is I would have liked to have seen him sent to prison for longer.

‘However, this is a consequence to his actions and that’s what the course must demonstrate.

‘Police officers accept that they work in an environment where people offer them violence and the job is unpredictable but they should never be expected to be treated like that, especially having blood flicked at them.

‘The consequences for that could be catastrophic.’

Mr Apter has been campaigning for better handling of assaults within the force since challenging then-chief constable Andy Marsh in 2014.

Since then the force has adopted a new policy to better handle assaults against staff and officers.

The five-point plan includes not allowing officers to investigate assaults committed against themselves.

Mr Apter added: ‘Society must support police officers and public sector workers if violence is offered against them.

‘In this case the consequence is prison and rightly so.’

Figures show there were 1,118 physical and verbal assaults last year.

It is an increase from 1,007 assaults against officers in the 12 months ending March 31 last year.

Police officers have faced punches, kicks and even eye gouging.

Research into attacks on police is being carried out with Hampshire police and the College of Policing.