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Judge praises officers who were doused in petrol during disorder


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Temporary superintendent tells court 'we could have gone up like Roman Candles'.

Temporary Supt Baldwin said 'it was one of those days when I thought I might not get home'

Temporary Supt Baldwin said 'it was one of those days when I thought I might not get home'

Date - 8th November 2019
By - Police Oracle 
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A judge has praised eight Essex officers who were doused in petrol in an attempt to prevent them making an arrest during disorder which broke out after they tried to detain a youth riding a stolen motorbike.

Judge Samantha Cohen said it must have been a "terrifying experience" for the police officers and found that Justin Jackson, 28, sprayed the officers with petrol to prevent them from making arrests.

She said: "Initially some (of the officers) thought they were splashed with a disfiguring acid or bleach, but when they smelled it was petrol they feared they would be set alight."

Judge Cohen praised the officers involved as a "credit to their force".

Joe Bird, prosecuting, said that disorder had broken out as police tried to arrest a youth riding a stolen motorbike and people interfered with attempts to arrest him in Basildon, Essex.

The disorder on May 5 involved a considerable number of members of the public and the police helicopter was on the scene, he said.

Justin Jackson, 28, admitted at an earlier hearing at Basildon Crown Court to eight counts of administering a noxious substance with intent to cause injury. He was jailed for three years and nine months.

During this disorder, Jackson "armed himself with a watering can full of petrol" then "brings it to the scene and sprays officers with it", Mr Bird said.

He said the impact on the eight police officers varied, with some feeling "stinging on the skin the petrol came into contact with" and others getting the fuel in their eyes.

"One described being unable to see, having his head in his hands on the floor, not knowing what was going to happen to him or how he was going to get out of the situation," said Mr Bird.

He said all of the officers described a feeling of fear, adding: "They realised it was petrol and they were involved in a very serious incident with a number of members of the public and they thought this could get quite considerably worse.

"They thought they could be set alight and left with significantly worse injuries, if not killed."

Temporary Superintendent Jonathan Baldwin, reading from his victim impact statement in court, said: "At the time of the incident while being covered with petrol I remember thinking 'we could all go up in flames here like Roman candles'."

He said he could not see if anyone was smoking in the vicinity, adding: "It was one of those days I realised I might not have got home at all."

"This was in my view a calculated attack carried out without regard for the lives of police officers, their loved ones and others who were nearby at the time," he said.

He said that some people came out from their homes carrying kitchen pans full of water and inviting officers to use their sinks and showers to help them.

"These particular memories have helped me keep a tight grip on the hope that what some people did that day is not representative of the wider community," said T/Supt Baldwin.

Jackson's mother Janine Justin, 47, of Ward Close, Basildon, had denied possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and was found guilty at trial.

The court heard she had armed herself with a hammer and threatened police officers with it during the incident.

She was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

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The two defendants should think themselves lucky for getting a lenient sentence. It does show just some of the types of Ferrell people there are that we/you as Police have to deal with.

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On 08/11/2019 at 15:03, Zulu 22 said:

The two defendants should think themselves lucky for getting a lenient sentence.

The sad fact is that the sentence is so lenient.

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