Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Man jailed for breaking cop's leg while resisting arrest

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A man who broke a police officer's leg while resisting arrest was today jailed for 18 months.

Belfast Crown Court heard that having been called to a domestic incident on Christmas Eve 2011, 22-year-old James Edwards "launched" himself at the constable and then had the cop in such a tight headlock that the officer was "struggling to breathe".

Prosecuting lawyer Simon Jenkins recounted how the officer pulled out his CS spray but that Edwards' mother kicked it from his grasp while his colleague punched Edwards "as hard as he could" in an effort to release him from the stranglehold.

Having retrieved the spray, the officer sprayed Edwards in the face and he let go but even as he was forcibly restrained, he launched a tirade of abuse at the officers, telling them to "f*** off".

During police interviews later that day Edwards, from the Shore Road in Belfast, claimed he had been acting in self defence after an unprovoked attack from the police.

But he later pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to resist arrest, resisting arrest and assaulting police.

Mr Jenkins told the court how the injured officer had to undergo surgery on his broken leg, was in hospital for five days and had a lengthy healing process.

Defence lawyer Sean Doherty conceded there was no justification for the aggressive, obnoxious, reckless manner in which he behaved but submitted that he had not intended to injure the cop.

In jailing Edwards, Judge Gordon Kerr QC ordered him to serve six months in custody and a year on supervised licence conditions.

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