Watch as female police officer is stabbed in face with pen in London

12 February 2021, 16:24 | Updated: 13 February 2021, 11:45

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Watch as a female police officer is stabbed in the face with a pen in London by a man who has since been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

Metropolitan Police officer Alexandra Dobbs was attacked by 40-year-old Battersea Power Station safety supervisor Adrian Popa on 16 August last year.

Appearing at the Old Bailey, Popa admitted threatening to kill and assaulting the Pc.

Judge Richard Marks QC said: "Attacks on police officers will not be tolerated and those convicted of such an attack will be dealt with severely by the courts."

The 40-year-old was spotted by a neighbour on the day of the assault lurking in the back garden of his ex-partner's home in Edgware, north London, the court heard.

Bail conditions had barred the safety supervisor from visiting the property as he had previously been charged over an alleged domestic assault.

Read more: Police in London break up illegal gathering of up to 40 people

Read more: Masked men 'steal safe from Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti's home'

Adrian Popa was jailed for stabbing a female police officer in the face with a pen
Adrian Popa was jailed for stabbing a female police officer in the face with a pen. Picture: PA

Pc Dobbs was among the first officers on the scene and was attacked by Popa while attempting to detain him.

The horrific incident was captured on camera in graphic body-worn footage which was played in court.

Prosecutor Sarah Przybylska explained how the police officer had Tasered the Romanian defendant after he lunged at her.

Ms Przybylska said: "She heard him growl and believed that the Taser had activated and caused him pain, but had not been able to stop him because he was too close.

"He looked at her with his hand in a fist and said, 'I'm going to kill you'.

"He came at her. She tried to cuff him. She saw the pen sticking out of his fist as he hit her again and again.

"She was not able to hold on to the Taser and it fell to the ground. The blows were hard enough to force her face away. He hit her shoulder. She thought that he had hit her at least five times. She felt helpless."

Read more: Man arrested over fatal stabbing of teenager near Parsons Green

Read more: Man and woman arrested on suspicion of murder after death of baby

The shocking incident was captured on the Pc's body-worn camera
The shocking incident was captured on the Pc's body-worn camera. Picture: PA

Pc Dobbs, who attended court, suffered multiple wounds to her face and neck and scratches to her shoulder. She was left permanently scarred with increased anxiety as a result of the incident.

She said in a victim impact statement: "I have used lotions and make-up to conceal the scars on my cheek, but I am constantly reminded of what took place.

"The scarring has knocked my confidence as a person, I feel paranoid that people are staring at me.

"The threat of what could have happened scares me to this day."

In mitigation, the court heard that Popa had been suffering from depression and was remorseful.

Sentencing, Judge Marks acknowledged the impact on Pc Dobbs' life had been "profound".

He jailed Popa for three years and 10 months for the threat to kill and 15 months for assault occasioning actual bodily harm to run concurrently.

Adrian Popa has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison
Adrian Popa has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison. Picture: PA

The court heard the domestic violence case against Popa was dropped after his former partner refused to give evidence.

Detective Constable Huss Ahmed, the investigating officer, said: "The officer in this incident is incredibly lucky. But for sheer fortune, her injuries may well have been life-changing or worse, and we could have been looking at a very different investigation.

"I am glad Popa has admitted his guilt, and will now serve a custodial sentence. This serves a reminder that we will pursue anyone who attacks our colleagues, and will work to put them before the courts to face justice."

Chief Inspector James Noble, of Scotland Yard's North West Command Unit, said: "This example highlights the risk that police officers face when they go to work.

"No officer should expect to be attacked in this way. Popa is a violent man who will now face the consequences of his abhorrent actions that day. We have and will always work to pursue charges against those who assault emergency workers."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP Jonathan Edwards to resign after assaulting wife

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP to 'resign immediately' after receiving police caution for assaulting wife

Firefighters found an unexploded WW2 bomb whilst tackling a huge wildfire sparked by disposable BBQ in Dorset

Firefighters find unexploded WW2 bomb whilst tackling huge blaze sparked by disposable BBQ

JK Rowling has said she is working with the police after receiving a death threat

'You are next': JK Rowling receives death threat after supporting stabbed author Salman Rushdie

Hundreds of households have been without water amid the blistering heat.

Hundreds of households without water as blistering heat set to reach 35C before thunderstorms batter UK

The stage hit festival-goers at the Medusa Festival near Valencia.

One killed and dozens injured after stage at Spanish music festival crashes down in 'strong wind'

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, has faced criticism for his remarks.

Mick Lynch suggests EU influence and Ukrainians 'playing with Nazi imagery' provoked Russian invasion

Train strikes are set to grind the country to a halt on Saturday.

Major travel disruption across UK as train drivers strike over pay - find out the services affected

Britney Spears still married her husband Sam Asghari despite ex-husband Jason Alexander (right) attempting to "crash" it in an Instagram live.

Britney Spears' ex-husband jailed for trying to crash her wedding to Sam Asghari

Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage. The suspect was named by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey.

Salman Rushdie on ventilator and may lose eye after being stabbed as man, 24, charged with attempted murder

The Mar-a-Lago Estate, owned by Donald Trump, lies at the water's edge in Palm Beach, Florida.

Donald Trump being investigated under Espionage Act, unsealed search warrant reveals

Anne Heche has died a week after the crash in LA

'We have lost a bright light': Hollywood actress Anne Heche dies aged 53 after LA car crash

The incidents took place in Skye and Dornie

Man appears in court charged with Isle of Skye murder and three attempted murders including his wife

Heritage Railway staff tell Thomas the Tank Engine fans told to refer to the Fat Controller as Sir Topham Hatt

Thomas the Tank Engine fans told to refer to the Fat Controller as Sir Topham Hatt

Mayor of London 'seriously concerned' about possible flash floods next week

Mayor of London 'seriously concerned' about possible flash floods in London

Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage

Police identify suspect after Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck and abdomen while on stage at New York event

Pensioner cleared of killing baby boy, 5, due to her undiagnosed dementia

Pensioner, 75, with undiagnosed dementia cleared of causing crash that killed baby boy