Waterlooville policeman attacked after responding to call about vandalism

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Police officers at Athena Avenue. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A POLICEMAN sent to a report of a smashed car window was repeatedly attacked and threatened by a gang of drunken thugs.

Jay Compton, Daniel Johnson, Benjamin Snelling, Beau Tallack and James O’Donnell surrounded the police sergeant in Apollo Drive, Waterlooville, after he asked them about the criminal damage to a Renault Clio parked nearby.

He was repeatedly punched and kicked before he was able to get his CS gas and spray Johnson with it.

Johnson continued to throw punches, although they did not connect, and the group ran off.

As the sergeant – who has not been named – followed some of the gang into a nearby road Johnson fell over, but later sprang to his feet and continued his attack.

The police officer sprayed more CS gas and managed to handcuff Johnson.

At this point bottles, stones and a brick were thrown at the officer’s head. None of the missiles hit him.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard O’Donnell then appeared with a lump of wood with nails in and swung it towards the sergeant’s head.

All five men – who all have previous convictions – were later arrested following the attack, which happened on August 27.

The sergeant, who was wearing body armour, was not seriously injured.

Judge Sarah Munro, sentencing, said: ‘Anyone listening to the facts of this offence would take the view that this was an extremely serious incident.

‘The most obvious aggravating feature was that you all involved yourselves in either threatening or attacking a police officer who was doing no more than was his job, and that’s extremely serious.

‘It’s no excuse that you were either under the influence of alcohol or drugs.’

Compton, 22, of Lombardy Rise, Waterlooville, admitted a section four public order offence and was sentenced to 159 days in prison.

Snelling, 23, of Apollo Drive, Waterlooville, also admitted a section four public order offence.

He was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody suspended for a year, put under supervision and told to go to an attendance centre for 24 hours.

He was given a curfew ordering him not to leave his home between 9pm and 5am for three months.

O’Donnell, 21, of Ha’penny dell, Waterlooville, was sentenced to two years in jail, Johnson, 24, of Dunsbury Way, Leigh Park, to two-and-a-half years and Tallack, 20, of Icarus Place, Waterlooville, to 20 months.

They admitted violent disorder.