Gosport drug user who grabbed baton out of police officer's hand before smashing it over another's head after garden chase appears at court

A CRACK-cocaine user who grabbed a baton from a police officer before smashing another over the head repeatedly with it after being chased over garden fences has appeared at court.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 5:26 pm

Matthew Wagstaff, 31, left a police officer needing hospital treatment for head injuries after a ‘violent attack’ when trying to evade capture in Lees Lane, Gosport, on January 30.

‘Officers making enquiries into drugs offences spotted Wagstaff and approached him to speak to him,’ a police spokesman said.

‘He ran from police before officers caught up with him as he hopped garden fences in Pelham Road.

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Portsmouth Crown Court Picture: César Moreno Huerta

‘Wagstaff grabbed an asp (baton) out of an officer’s hand before repeatedly striking another officer over the head with it, resulting in head injuries which required hospital treatment.

‘During this incident, Wagstaff was arrested and subsequently charged with offences.’

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Appearing at Portsmouth Crown Court on Monday, Wagstaff pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault of an emergency worker, and possession of an offensive weapon.

In a separate incident on April 24 last year, Wagstaff was stopped by police along Forton Road. ‘Following a search, officers located a bag of crack cocaine,’ the spokesman said.

He was subsequently charged with possession of a class A drug, and he admitted this offence when he appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on February 1.

Inspector Matt Wake said: ‘Assaults against our people will never be tolerated. It is not “simply part of the job” and we will always take these extremely serious.

‘This was a violent attack on one of our officers, who needed treatment in hospital as a result. Fortunately he has recovered well and is back on duty, but the outcome could have been far more severe.’

Wagstaff, of no fixed abode, was bailed to appear at crown court on April 16 for sentencing.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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