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Officer viciously assaulted

PUBLISHED: 09:41 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:30 05 July 2010

A police officer spent more than five months off work after he was viciously assaulted while trying to arrest a youth on the seafront at Lowestoft.

Lowestoft youth court heard yesterday how PC Robert Simmons suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured cheekbone, in the terrifying attack.

A police officer spent more than five months off work after he was viciously assaulted while trying to arrest a youth on the seafront at Lowestoft.

Lowestoft youth court heard yesterday how PC Robert Simmons suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured cheekbone, in the terrifying attack.

Before the court was a 17-year-old boy, who pleaded guilty to assault with intent to resist arrest and was told he could receive a custodial sentence.

However, magistrates were told the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was not responsible for two heavy kicks to PC Simmons' head, which resulted in the fracture.

The youth responsible for the main blows has never been caught and police last night renewed appeals for information from witnesses.

Corrinne Gook-Hurren, prosecuting, said the incident unfolded during the evening of August 3 last year when PC Simmons responded to an incident of public disorder along the seafront.

He lost two boys he was chasing, but was sworn at by the 17-year-old defendant. The youth was warned about his behaviour, but swore again and PC Simmons made the decision to arrest him.

PC Simmons, who is in his mid-20s, pulled the boy to the ground after he struggled and tried to resist arrest. They were surrounded by about 10 youths and PC Simmons pulled out his PAVA spray to warn them off. However, one of the youths refused to heed the warning and seconds later the officer received the serious blows to his head.

In his statement, PC Simmons said: “I felt a blow behind me. This made my body move forward and I lost control for a second. I was extremely fearful for my safety and I felt a substantial blow to the left side of my head; I was then hit on the right side of my head. My vision was blurred and my sense of balance was shaken. It felt like the earth was moving and I was really unsteady on my feet.” PC Simmons also suffered pain in his rib cage, knees and elbow, and was off work for five-and-a-half months.

Rob Barley, representing the defendant, said: “It was not a question of deliberately assaulting someone. I would suggest this is something that should attract a community penalty.”

The defendant also pleaded guilty to one charge of disorderly conduct and one of criminal damage, relating to damage he caused to a drain cover after his arrest. He has two previous convictions relating to violent conduct, but Mr Barley said he had not offended during the six months since the assault on the police officer.

Chairman of the bench Trevor Lynes ordered pre-sentence reports and said: “We do find these offences serious… you must not assume a custodial sentence is being ruled out.”

The boy will be sentenced on February 6.

Anyone with information about the attack should contact Lowestoft police on 01986 835100.

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