A man who attacked a Hampshire police officer has been jailed for two and a half years.
Robert Mann assaulted Sergeant Nicholas Tucker while the officer was responding to a public order incident in Above Bar Street, Southampton, in the early hours of June 23.
Sgt Tucker was left with serious facial injuries which needed hospital treatment. He has since returned to duty but is still recovering from the attack.
Yesterday Mann, 26, of Coriander Drive in Totton, was sentenced to 30 months in prison at Southampton Crown Court.
He was charged with causing grievous bodily harm and admitted the offence at a previous court hearing on August 2.
Following the sentencing Sgt Tucker, of the Roads Policing Unit, spoke out about the effect the attack had on him, and his family and colleagues.
He said: ‘When it comes to danger, we do not have the choice to walk away – we walk towards it and we are one of very few professions to do this.
‘I have 23 years’ service behind me and I am as keen now as the day I joined, but for me we are dealing with a very different generation. It worries me, particularly to see the effect it has on my family.
‘I was horribly assaulted, and no doubt it has affected me, but there is a splinter effect which not only impacts on me but also on my family. They have been fully supportive and went through a lot.
‘It really affected my team that night as well, and the effect it has on the police family is huge. We do a public duty, and it’s not acceptable to for us to get assaulted.’
Superintendent Simon Dodds said: ‘It is extremely worrying to be seeing an escalation in the frequency of such serious assaults against emergency workers, and this was a case where an experienced police officer was seriously hurt and quite frankly very fortunate to not have been killed in what was a vicious and unprovoked attack.
‘We take a zero tolerance approach to assaults on our officers, and do not accept that it is simply part of the job. No emergency worker should turn up to work and expect to come to harm. As a force we will continue to work with the CPS to ensure that those responsible for these awful attacks are brought to justice.
‘My thoughts go out to Nick and his family, and I wish him all the best with his ongoing recovery.’