Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire head-butting police sergeant fined over attack

David Sanderson Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption David Sanderson is due to appeal against the decision

A police sergeant head-butted a woman while wearing a motorcycle helmet in a "road rage" attack.

David Sanderson was off duty when he confronted two women in the car ahead of him at a petrol station in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, on 6 June.

He believed the motorist had been driving while using a mobile phone, Worthing Magistrates' Court heard.

Sanderson had denied assault by beating but was found guilty following a trial last month. He was fined £828.

Magistrates heard the car driver was using the phone hands free while driving.

However, Sanderson, 45, from Portsmouth, revved his motorcycle engine and tried to undertake the car as it moved off the forecourt, the court was told.

'Death threat'

Passenger Donya Bryant got out and Sanderson head-butted her, leaving her with a "red mark the size of a 50p piece and a swollen lump" on her forehead, prosecutor Gaynor Byng said.

She added the situation escalated after Miss Bryant, who was upset after the death of a friend, swore at the defendant and threatened to kill him.

In a victim impact statement, Miss Bryant said: "I feel extremely let down by someone who, as a serving police officer, should have been protecting the public."

Chairwoman of the bench, Marley Isaac, said Sanderson had a "previous good character and 23-year exemplary service".

"However, this does appear to be an ongoing road-rage incident that began at the pumps and continued off the forecourt," she said.

She added it was "disappointing you didn't behave more appropriately".

Paul Fairley, defending, said Sanderson continued to deny he deliberately assaulted Miss Bryant and the case was set to go to the crown court for appeal.

He added Sanderson continued to work full-time for Hampshire Constabulary, but faced dismissal from the force and had been taken off front-line duties pending the conclusion of the appeal.

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