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20 February 2015, 18:34
Dramatic video footage captured on a Hampshire police officer's body camera of a "shocking and brutal attack'' on her has been released by her force.
Craig Radbourne, 25, of Stanmore Gardens, Newport Pagnell pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm and was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to three years in prison.
The assault in Basingstoke in which Sergeant Kerry Lawrence's head was repeatedly banged on the ground was captured on her body-worn video (BWV) camera.
The footage was described by Judge Susan Evans QC as ``nothing short of sickening'' and she added that Sgt Lawrence was fortunate not to be more seriously hurt.
This attack happened in the early hours of July 6 last year when Sgt Lawrence was responding to a report of a burglary in progress in Church Square, Basingstoke.
A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ``Radbourne was arrested by the officer on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly. He had been placed in handcuffs and into a police car before additional units arrived.
``However, before officers arrived, Radbourne managed to strike out at Sgt Lawrence, viciously attacking her and banging her head on the ground several times. He was subsequently re-arrested by other officers nearby and taken into police custody.''
Chief Inspector Simon Dodds said: ``Across the country, police officers work extremely hard to keep their local communities safe. They come to work knowing that their job has an element of risk, as part of their duty to protect the public.
``However assaulting an officer must never be seen as just part of the job. It is unacceptable. This was a disgusting attack on a member of my team, who works tirelessly to serve her community.
``I know it was an extremely traumatic experience for Sgt Lawrence and her family and it also had a significant impact on her team and others at Basingstoke Police Station. I am pleased that the courts have recognised the seriousness of this offence in the sentence passed today.
``Sergeant Lawrence is now back on full duties, which is to her absolute credit.''
Simon Hayes, police and crime commissioner for Hampshire, criticised the sentence as being lenient.
He said: ``I am disappointed that Mr Radbourne has only been sentenced to three years in prison for the extremely violent assault against Sgt Kerry Lawrence. I would hope that he is made to serve the full sentence.
``Through this footage, the judges were able to see for themselves the aggravated abuse that Kerry suffered. BWV provides fairer and faster justice for victims and witnesses, which is why I have made a commitment to equipping every frontline officer and PCSO in Hampshire Constabulary with BWV over the next year - enabling the police to be more effective and transparent in protecting the public from harm.''
John Apter, chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, said: ``Police officers accept that they perform a dangerous and unpredictable job. I am pleased that the judge has given an appropriate sentence for this vicious and unprovoked attack on PS Lawrence.
``This should send a strong message to the public that assaulting a police officer is not acceptable in any circumstances.''