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Policewoman begged axe attacker to stop, court told

Published 17/10/2016

Nathan Sumner is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court
Nathan Sumner is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court

A woman police officer who was left with one finger hanging off and a wound to her head after she was attacked by a man with an axe has described how she pleaded with him to stop.

Pc Lisa Bates said Nathan Sumner repeatedly hit her with the tool after she and a colleague were called to a disturbance at his home on Plowright Close, in the Gleadless area of Sheffield.

The South Yorkshire Police officer told Sheffield Crown Court she broke her leg when she jumped down a flight of stairs in an attempt to escape from Sumner as he chased her with an axe.

Sam Green QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Pc Bates and Pc Mark Garrett were on duty in a marked police vehicle when they were called to the maisonette on the evening of April 13.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, Pc Bates told the court that Sumner shouted "aggressively" as he answered the door and attacked her colleague, punching him and pinning him against a wall.

She said she tried to pull him away but he was too strong so she used an incapacitating gas spray, which had no effect on the defendant but affected Pc Garrett's vision.

Pc Bates told the jury of six men and six women that Sumner reappeared with the axe shouting "Come on then, you f*****s".

She said: "I turned round and ran and shouted 'run' to (Pc Garrett).

"I could feel him and hear him closing in on me. He just kept shouting 'come on'.

"I was panicking so I started jumping down a couple of steps at a time. I think the last one I jumped the whole flight of stairs. I broke my leg. My left leg just snapped."

The officer added: "He was hitting me from behind. I felt it was heavy and cold and I turned around with my hands up and he just kept hitting me with the axe."

She continued: "I asked him to stop. I begged him to stop. When I was getting tired and couldn't defend myself any more, I just said 'please stop, I'm begging you'."

Pc Bates described how the attack stopped and a man who lived in another maisonette dragged her into his home.

Giving evidence later, Pc Garrett told the court that he saw Sumner attacking Pc Bates repeatedly with the axe before the defendant began to chase him.

He said: "I heard Lisa screaming 'get him off me, get him off me'. I turned round and the male from outside the address was there. He'd basically got hold of her and in his hand was a small-handled axe and he was hitting her with it."

The court has heard that Sumner was eventually arrested in a nearby Co-op store by police who first tried to subdue him with batons before he was finally brought to the ground by a Taser.

David Brookes, defending, said it was agreed that his client was suffering from a psychotic episode at the time.

Earlier, the jury watched a police interview with Kayleigh Barton, Sumner's girlfriend at the time, in which she said that he began "acting a bit crazy" in the days leading up to the attack.

Miss Barton told police Sumner started talking about aliens, devils, the Illuminati and being assassinated. She said, on the evening of the attack, he was swinging an axe around in his maisonette, taking chunks out of the floor.

She said she escaped to a neighbour's home after she saw her boyfriend pin Pc Garrett against the wall when the police arrived.

Miss Barton said the neighbour brought Pc Bates into his home after the attack and described how she tried to stop the bleeding from the gash on the officer's head.

She said: "I've seen some bad things in my life but this has just shocked me to the core."

Miss Barton said Sumner smoked cannabis every day and would drink lager or cider daily but was not violent and was usually a "quiet person".

She said: "You couldn't wish for a better bloke really. I don't know what's happened to him."

Sumner, 35, denies attempting to murder Pc Bates and an alternative count of causing her grievous bodily harm with intent.

The jury has heard that he admits causing the officer grievous bodily harm.

Press Association

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