Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Pc attacked on duty calls for guaranteed jail time for those who assault officers
17 February 2020, 16:13
A police constable has called for guaranteed jail time for those who assault officers after a teenager who slammed his head into a patio received a suspended sentence.
Pc Darren Jenkins, 47, was left with a broken nose after he was attacked by Riley Hope, 18, while trying to arrest him.
The teenager had crashed a moped into a concrete post in Leyton, east London, on January 23, and fled the scene, with Pc Jenkins in pursuit.
In the ensuing struggle, Hope repeatedly punched the constable and hit his head on the paving slabs.
On Friday at Thames Magistrates' Court, Hope was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years, and 200 hours unpaid work, after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Pc Jenkins, who is still off work with his injuries, said: "I love protecting the public, but who protects us?
"If all the evidence is there, body-worn video is there, and if they are found guilty or admit doing it, then there has to be a mandatory jail term for people who assault police officers.
"I was angry at the time about what Hope did. But I sort of expected the sentence, in a way, which is pretty sad.
"There is no deterrent, and because there is no deterrent, we the police are now having the problems we are having."
Despite his injuries he continued to try to chase the suspect, until he was told by a sergeant to get medical help, and was left "in shock" at the sight of his injuries.
Hope escaped onto a nearby roof, but was eventually caught by the police and London Fire Brigade.
Pc Jenkins, who is based in Walthamstow, east London, added: "When I got home my family were shocked with how I looked and my wife Julie kept saying 'it doesn't look like you'.
"The attack has not shaken my confidence as a police officer, but as a dad, it's only natural that it's made me think twice about my daughter Chloe who is keen on joining the force.
"I'm not the biggest bloke in the world. I'm 5'11", she's 5'7" and has a small frame. He probably would have killed her.
"Especially with the punch to the face. It makes me think, what would she be getting into?"
Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said the leniency of Hope's sentence made a mockery of the legislation.
"I am flabbergasted by this sentencing decision - as every single one of my Metropolitan Police colleagues will be.
"It's utter nonsense, and the public will be equally appalled. What kind of message does this send?
"An average of 16 Metropolitan Police officers are assaulted every day. When our brave colleagues are sadly horrifically attacked out there doing their duty, the courts must provide an appropriate deterrent."