Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Simon Priest jailed for attacking two police officers

Simon Priest Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Simon Priest attacked the two officers after they attempted to arrest him following a domestic incident

A man has been jailed for life for an "appalling and horrific" attack on two police officers.

Simon Priest, 41, repeatedly stamped on the officers' heads as they tried to arrest him over a domestic incident in Aldershot.

He pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, attempted GBH, escape from lawful custody, theft of handcuffs and possession of a Taser.

Priest will serve a minimum of seven and a half years.

Winchester Crown Court heard the officers were called to Priest's home in Pegasus Avenue by his partner on 7 February.

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Image copyright Google
Image caption Both officers needed hospital treatment following the attack in Pegasus Avenue, Aldershot, in February

PCs Karl Odgers and Geoff Hill attended but as the pair moved to arrest Priest the stairwell light went out.

Priest immediately began to attack them before fleeing with a Taser and handcuffs.

Footage from the officers' body cameras, shown in court, showed PC Odgers being punched to the ground and lying still with audible laboured breathing.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said the officer suffered a life-threatening bleed to the brain as well as multiple facial fractures.

Ms Maylin said PC Hill was caught in a "prolonged choke-hold" by Priest and "thought he would die".

Image caption The court heard PC Geoff Hill "thought he would die"

Abigail Husbands, defending, said Priest could not remember details of the attack, and had been assessed as suffering from mixed personality disorder.

Passing sentence, Judge Cutler told Priest: "You reacted with alarming violence, ferocious and vicious."

He said Priest, who had previous convictions including assaulting a police officer, wounding and robbery, posed a "significant risk to the public".

Both officers have now returned to full duties at work.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter said: "The level of violence used was... the worst I have seen in my 24 years of policing. Justice has been done and police officers have been protected by the court."

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