Construction firm owner jailed for repeatedly punching police officer outside pub
A POLICE officer has told of the moment he was repeatedly punched to the ground in a '˜brutal' attack.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how police were called to the Navigator pub after two pub workers were assaulted by Oliver Paine at his sister’s engagement party.
Prosecutor Giles Fletcher said Paine, 23, pushed one man over inside the Swanwick pub, then slammed a door on him as he lay on the floor.
Family, who had gathered for Paine’s sister’s engagement party, ushered the building firm owner out of the building to calm him down.
But dramatic body-worn video footage played in court show how Paine unleashed a ‘brutal’ attack against a police officer, punching him five to six times without warning as the officer approached the chaotic scene.
Watching the footage, district judge Anthony Callaway said: ‘It’s absolutely outrageous.’
He added: ‘Officers are not going to be assaulted in this way and the courts, it’s about time they did their stuff and sorted this out.’
After adjourning for probation to speak with Paine and after hearing from Paine’s lawyer, the judge jailed him for four months.
In a statement PC Douglas Westerman said: ‘The person that assaulted me seemed totally focused on hurting me.
‘He fixed his gaze on me and threw a punch to my head. ‘It was the heaviest punch I’ve had in my life.’
Paine admitted two charges of assault by beating and assaulting a PC at the pub in Bridge Road, Swanwick, on April 28. An appeal hearing against his sentence will take place on Friday.
PC Westerman, who was wearing full uniform at the time, added: ‘He kept throwing punches at my head and everyone one of them hit.
‘I remember thinking in those moments, “this is it, I’m going to get seriously hurt”.’
A lawyer for construction firm owner Paine, who employs 30-40 people, said he had been assaulted in the pub and a ‘number of times’ outside before going back in.
‘Family members tried to take him outside and put in a taxi,’ Michelle Shergill said.
‘The police officer goes outside, from what I heard he doesn’t announce he was a police officer.’
She added: ‘You have a man who was attacked several times, he feels he’s going to be attacked again and starts punching a person.’
‘This was a vicious and brutal attack’
SENIOR police have condemned the attack on a police officer.
The sentencing judge suggested Oliver Paine could have been facing with a more serious assault charge.
Hampshire Police Federation chairman, John Apter, who represents the rank-and-file’ said: ‘This was a vicious and brutal attack on a police officer who was simply doing his job. The officer’s body- worn video was graphic and allowed the reality of what happens on the street to be shown in the court room. The level of violence seen by the judge was clear to see and without doubt helped in securing a prison sentence for the offender.
‘Whilst I welcome the jail sentence, four months for what this man did is simply not enough. The sentences for those who assault emergency workers must be significantly increased. Until they are there is no deterrent which is completely unacceptable.
‘Police officers perform a dangerous job on behalf of the public, they deserve to have the protection of the courts.
‘In this case, as the judge suggested the offender could have been charged with more serious offences. The Crown Prosecution Service must ensure they do what is in the interest of the victim.’
Hampshire police’s Chief Inspector Chris White spoke out about the assault. He said: ‘This was a nasty assault on an officer who was simply carrying out his duty to protect members of the public and carry out enquiries during an incident at a pub.
‘We are committed to officer safety and ensuring officers, and staff, are given the support they need.
‘An assault on our people should never been seen as “just part of the job”.’