Man jailed for breaking officer's leg

Man jailed for breaking officer's leg

A 22-year-old man, who broke a police officer's leg while resisting arrest, has been jailed for 18 months.

On Thursday, Belfast Crown Court heard that having been called to a domestic incident on Christmas Eve 2011, James Edwards "launched" himself at the constable from the third step up.

The court also heard that Edwards, from the Shore Road in the city, had the officer in such a tight headlock that he was "struggling to breathe".

Prosecuting lawyer Simon Jenkins recounted how the officer pulled out his CS spray - but that Edwards' mother kicked it from his grasp.

The officer's colleague punched the young man "as hard as he could" in an effort to release the constable from the stranglehold.

Edwards was eventually sprayed in the face by police, when the item was retrieved, and he let go.

But, even as he was forcibly restrained, he launched a tirade of abuse at the officers.

Edwards allegedly had a seizure once restrained, but the lawyer said ambulance staff examined him and could find nothing wrong.

During police interviews later that day, Edwards claimed he had been acting in self defence after an unprovoked attack from the police.

But he later pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to resist arrest, resisting arrest and assaulting police.

Mr Jenkins told the court how the injured officer had to undergo surgery on his broken leg, was in hospital for five days and had a lengthy healing process.

Defence lawyer Sean Doherty conceded there was no justification for the aggressive, obnoxious, reckless manner in which he behaved but submitted that he had not intended to injure the officer.

In jailing Edwards, Judge Gordon Kerr QC ordered him to serve six months in custody and a year on supervised licence conditions.

© UTV

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