Man pleads guilty to stabbing off-duty cop 11 times at own home

13 January 2020, 10:39

Police tape
Police tape. Picture: Station owned
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

John McCartney, 40, has pleaded guilty to stabbing an off-duty police officer 10 times at the victim's own home.

The 40-year-old was appearing at Basildon Crown Court over the incident which occurred in April last year.

The court heard McCartney, became fixated with the officer, launching a campaign of harassment against him on social media, despite the pair only ever saying ‘hello’ in passing.

On Wednesday 24 April 2019 at around 9 pm, the officer was at his family home in Rayleigh when there was a knock at the door.

The officer went outside to see who it was and it was then that, without warning, McCartney launched, what Essex Police have called" a sustained and frenzied knife attack on our officer."

Despite suffering 11 stab and slash wounds, a number of which were extremely serious, the officer was able to restrain McCartney with the assistance of a neighbour.

A previous court hearing was told the victim suffered six stab wounds to the centre of his chest and lacerations to his chest, arm and abdomen - exposing his bowel - a half-inch wound to the upper arm and wounds to the feet.

McCartney, who is currently being held at a secure psychiatric facility, admitted attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon at Basildon Crown Court on Monday morning via video link.

Following today’s hearing Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “Today I am proud and humbled to say I am a colleague of this officer.

“Despite being the victim of a frenzied attack, despite suffering horrific and life-changing injuries, he continued to put the safety of his family and his neighbours first.

“With devastating and critical injuries, he tackled and restrained McCartney to ensure he did not and could not hurt anyone else.

“He is a credit to Essex Police both as an officer and a human being, he is a credit to his community and a credit to his family.

“I would also like to pay tribute to this officer’s wife and neighbours, police colleagues and paramedics who rushed to his aide. I cannot imagine the scene they must have faced and I have no doubt their actions played a vital part in saving his life.

“I must also thank our team of detectives, who as always, have shown their dedication and professionalism in extremely difficult circumstances and worked tirelessly to put this case before the courts.

“Any violent attack on any individual, regardless of their profession, is unacceptable.

“There is no doubt that the fact the victim, in this case, is a serving Essex Police officer was part of the motivation of this attack.

“Every day, across the country, police officers run into the face of danger whilst others run away. They protect and serve you, their communities, often without a second thought for the risk or danger they may face.

“But sadly, all too often, they are assaulted, sometimes with the most tragic, serious and devastating, consequences."

In a statement, the officer, who was the victim of this attack, said: “The events of Wednesday, April 24 have had a huge impact on not just my life but those of my family, close friends, neighbours and policing colleagues.

“They, like me, continue to live with the emotional scars of that day but I am thankful to all of them – my wife, family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and paramedics who undoubtedly not only saved my life on that day but have continued to support me since.

“Words are not enough to describe how much everything they have done and all of their love and support has meant to me.

“I am also grateful to my detective colleagues who I know have worked extremely hard to investigate the events of that day.

“This is a very difficult time for both me and my loved ones and, as my family and I try to return to some sort of normality, I would ask that our privacy is respected at this time.

“But I continue to be grateful for the support and well wishes from the community.“

Judge Samantha Leigh adjourned sentencing until March 6 to allow time for psychologists to come to court and give evidence about his mental state.