Police federation chair ‘saddened and stunned’ as man who left Peterborough police officer with brain injury jailed for 20 months

Cambridgeshire’s police Federation chair has said she is ‘saddened and stunned’ after a man who left a police officer with a brain injury was jailed for 20 months.

By Stephen Briggs
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:00 pm

PC Leo Clarke (24) suffered a bleed on the brain in the horror attack in February, and is still recovering now, with his life dramatically altered as a result of the assault.

Today Cambridgeshire police have released graphic images of the wounds suffered by PC Clarke in the attack.

Yesterday Joshua Gull, 27 of Herne Road, Oundle, admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent and was sentenced to one year and eight months at Peterborough Crown Court.

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PC Clarke

Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom said: “I am saddened and stunned by this sentence. Leo quite simply could have died had his colleagues missed his sudden and rapid deterioration on his return to the station due to a bleed on the brain caused by being assaulted,

“Thanks to all those asking how Leo is now. He is very grateful for the love and support. He is very much still recovering and suffering effects - but staying positive.”

In a victim impact statement, PC Clarke said his injuries had made every day tasks like driving to the shop almost impossible.

Joshua Gull

He said: “This incident has left me feeling like a burden on everyone. I used to love driving but it’s hard now as I have to be driven everywhere in relation to things such as appointments or even to go to the shop. I feel like a prisoner as such in my own house because the recovery is so slow and I would really like to go out with my family but I can’t due to the injury.

“I used to love going out with friends, drinking, going to work and socialising but I can’t do any of that now and that is really hard for me, just sitting at home and doing nothing. I was a really active person and for that now to be taken away, with the possibility that some of these injuries might never go away, makes me feel quite upset.”

The incident highlighted the number of assaults on police officers take place in Peterborough.

In a statement to the court, Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “Police officers and staff are regularly subjected to violence and threats which too often result in injury. It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated, it is not simply ‘part of the job’. While it is clear that the nature of policing requires members of the organisation to handle difficult and hostile situations, assaults upon them are serious and unacceptable.

“The public call upon the police to help them when they are most in need. We have a duty to protect the public, but we are all too often prevented from doing so due to violent individuals who choose to attack those who are there to help them.

“Most importantly it should be remembered that police officers and staff are people, they are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. When they are attacked they become victims just like any other, but victims who have been attacked while trying to protect others.”

DC Mat Belfitt, who investigated, said: “This was a violent attack against a new-in-service police officer who was simply doing his job in responding to reports of concern for this man.

“On average, there are 42 assaults on officers in Cambridgeshire every month and this incident sadly highlights the dangers officers face on a daily basis.

“Being subjected to such abuse will not be tolerated and we will continue to take strong action.”