COMMENT: Tough stance needed for those who attack police
It began as a warm-hearted family celebration for a young couple in love.
It ended with a police officer being viciously assaulted as he tried to protect party-goers from an out-of-control thug causing havoc.
Oliver Pain has been jailed for four months for the brutal assault on two bar staff at the Navigator pub, in Swanwick, and PC Douglas Westerman.
The officer was simply performing his duties as a public servant when he was attacked by Pain, 23, who, PC Westerman said: ‘Seemed totally focused on hurting me.’
Thank goodness for the body-worn video camera PC Westerman had on – it showed the punches Pain rained down on him, which forced him to the floor.
What on earth was going through the culprit’s mind as he hit out at the officer?
He was acting like a man possessed.
But all too often those on the frontline in our emergency services take punches, kicks, are spat at and are verbally abused while in the line of duty.
The problem is so severe that when cases like this come to court an extremely tough stance must be taken.
Pain, who owns a building firm, will likely be out of prison in a couple of months.
PC Westerman suffered cuts and bruises but the mental scars will undoubtedly last a lot longer than that.
Paramedics, nurses, doctors, firefighters, even staff within hospitals and police stations, are vulnerable to the wrath of those who think they are punchbags to lash out at.
These people are professionals who spend years training to save lives.
A vicious assault like this can ruin a career, and the public are the worse off for it.
The only way this behaviour can be stopped is for the courts to make examples of those who appear before them with harsh sentences.