A pair of thugs who attacked police, resulting in a female officer being fly-kicked into the path of a moving bus have been jailed for more than five years.
Kersan Euell kicked PC Lorraine McGinty in the back of the head and fractured one of PC John Collins ribs after they pulled over a BMW in a routine check.
Despite only being charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm (abh) Euell admitted the charge but claimed he was acting in self defence as the brave officers had “exceeded their authority” in trying to detain his pal Martin Payne.
The female officer, who is a mother, did not return to work for more than a month after being attacked by Euell and says she is now considering early retirement.
A video of the attack, filmed in Merton, south west London, shortly before 8pm on November 17 went viral after being posted on social media.
Euell, of Catford, south east London, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) at Kingston Crown Court.
The driver Payne, 19 of New Malden, south west London, admitted ABH against PC Collins as well as driving without insurance and a licence during the incident.
He was jailed for two years and nine months while Euell was jailed for three years and six months.
Prosecutor Stephen Apted told Kingston Crown Court: “At about 7.50pm in the evening PC Collins and PC McGinty were carrying out a routine stop on a BMW motor vehicle in the Merton Area.
“There has been no insurance for that motor vehicle.
“It contained three people, Mr Payne was the driver, Mr Euell was a rear seat passenger.
The third person has not yet been identified.
“Mr Payne got out of the vehicle while speaking with PC McGinty who had turned on her body worn camera.
“Mr Payne was vague and failed to give his name to PC McGinty.
“Mr Payne then tried suddenly to run off, he was immediately restrained by PC Collins and a violent struggle ensued.
“During the course of this struggle the offficer was punched and kicked by Mr Payne while PC McGinty tried to deploy CS spray.
“As PC McGinty tried to help her colleague one of the men can be heard saying ‘get off, I will shank you’.”
Mr Apted said: “Mr Payne shouted ‘don’t leave me’
“Mr Euell returned and performed a fly-kick on PC McGinty, kicking her to the ground, she narrowly misses a passing bus and wounded her head.”
Euell and the other man ran off.
Mr Apted said: “PC McGinty was able to struggle to her feet and with the assistance of passing members of the public she was able to overpower Mr Payne.”
Payne was arrested at the scene and Euell was arrested three days later.
Mr Apted said. “He was found at his girlfriend’s house hiding under the bed.”
Both men denied the assault, while Euell denied even being there, claiming he was at his grandmother’s birthday party.
Footage from PC McGinty’s body worn camera was shown in court.
After the officer was fly-kicked she lay moaning on the ground unable to get up for a minute.
In her victim impact statement she said she thought her colleague might be being stabbed.
PC Collins suffered a fractured rib while he tried to detain Payne, which led to three hospital visits and a chest infection.
Mr Apted read out part of his victim statement in court: “Due to the injuries I sustained I struggled to sleep for two weeks.
“I struggled with day to day activities for seven weeks.
“This prevented me from taking part in activities in the lead up to a wedding and over Christmas.
“During this time I have had to attend hospital three different hospitals relating to internal injuries.”
He said he runs marathons and will not longer be able to do so this year, adding: “They have ruined my race plans for 2019 and the money spent and the hours and hours of training.”
He asked: “What would have happened if they had a knife instead of just threatening to stab me.”
PC Collins said, however, that the incident would not “cloud his judgment” while interacting with people in the future.
He said: “After it I thought maybe I should have just let them go.
“But I will carry on doing my job and won’t let it cloud my judgement in how I interact with people in the future.”
Mr Apted also read a victim statement from PC McGinty, who said she was considering early retirement because of the assault.
He read: “In the following days I had a severe headache, I was unsteady on my feet and I kept throwing up.
“My memory was not reliable.
“My daughter who is in her third year of university had to look after me because I couldn’t be left on my own.”
PC McGinty’s daughter was forced to call her husband to come home from work when her vomiting continued.
She had to be put on painkillers and antivomiting medication.She said: “I have been on sick leave for six weeks.
“I have returned to work but I am still not fully healed.I have been seen a chiropractor for my back and treatment for this is still ongoing.
“This incident has shocked me to the core. I have suffered many sleepless nights wondering whether I did enough to help my colleague.
“My daughter is begging me to retire, she is worried every time I leave for work… she said seeing that video will haunt her forever.
“I had no idea how close I had come to to being killed or seriously injured having been kicked under a bus until I saw it on the news.
“I might well take early retirement, which saddens me deeply.”
She added: “I have a lasting image of watching my colleague being assaulted while someone threatened to shank him and not knowing if he was being stabbed.”
After the pair pleaded guilty in December, Judge Sarah Plaschkes QC raised concerns over why the Crown Prosecution Service had not brought more serious assault charges against them.
She said ABH carries maximum sentence of five years, adding that both defendants have a long criminal history including assaulting police officers, robbery and of violence.
Barrister Brian Kennedy, acting on behalf of both the defendants at Kingston Crown Court, said the incident “snowballed”.
He said: “This incident snowballed in both the defendants’ cases.
“It started with a summary incident which got out of hand.
“On behalf of Mr Euell in particular, he wishes to be taken into account the psychological report in relation to persons of authority and his behaviour to them.”
In Euell’s pre-sentence report, it was said he was “acting in self-defence” because the police officers were “abusing their authority”.
He claimed he stepped in in the “heat of the moment” to protect his friend.
Judge Plaschkes said: “It says he went to intervene in the heat of the moment in defence of his friend.
“He became involved to defend Mr Payne and that the officers were abusing their authority.”
Mr Apted denied that was a possibility.
He said: “The Crown submits that the police officers were acting lawfully in trying to detain Mr Payne and there’s no basis on which the defendants could say that they were acting in self-defence.”
By Grainne Cuffe