Hamish Alton Ellis, also known as Amen Melchizedek, 46 and of Webbs Way, Bournemouth, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on 12 May and pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and causing grievous bodily harm.
Dorset Police was called to a report of a disturbance involving a man and a woman in Iddlesleigh Road in Bournemouth on 26 December 2019.
Police Constable Sarah Donnelly and Police Constable Carri King attended. When they approached Ellis in an attempt to arrest him, he struck PC King in the face and knocked her to the ground. He then continued to kick her while she was on the pavement.
Ellis then swung his arms and deliberately punched PC Donnelly to the face knocking her off balance. In an attempt to leave the scene Ellis got on his bicycle, but was sprayed with PAVA by PC Donnelly to prevent him getting away.
Additional officers arrived and arrested Ellis.
Both officers were taken to hospital for treatment to facial injuries. PC King sustained a fracture to her face and PC Donnelly sustained a possible fractured nose.
PC Sarah Donnelly and PC Carri King gave victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing. Chief Constable James Vaughan also gave evidence on the wider community impact of assaults on staff.
In her statement, PC Sarah Donnelly said, “The events of what happened in the moments after we got out of the police car will stay with me forever.
“The pain I have felt in my nose since the incident has continued; I can constantly feel it, day and night. It hurts to touch and I have found myself worrying about anything or anyone hitting my nose again. I have not been back to work since the incident and I am constantly worrying about how I will feel when I do return to work.
“I had always wanted to be a police officer and I have led my life in such a way that this goal could be achieved. I do this job because of people like Ellis, because some people are unable to stand up to such a bully and a coward like he is. I am proud to say I am a police officer and, for as long as I do this job, I will continue to help protect the public against people like him.”
PC Carri King said in her statement: “What happened to me was completely unprovoked, unnecessary and monstrous. I still to this day do not understand how one human can do that to another human with no thought of their actions and the consequences that this could have on them. The actions of that one person have changed me forever.
“The effects that this has had on me have been like living a nightmare each and every day. It has affected me so much, the pain that I endured at the time was so intense, my mouth and teeth felt like they had been ripped from my face.
“Every day is a struggle to do the basic things in life that anyone should be able to do.
“Devastatingly for me my nightmare does not end. I have got endless amounts of check-ups and further treatments needed physically and mentally to get me back to the person I was before. It is a constant reminder of what happened to me.”
At the sentencing hearing, the judge praised the courage of the officers in describing their injuries. He also recognised that they are both dedicated and committed officers and will be giving them a Judge’s Commendation.
Chief Constable James Vaughan, of Dorset Police, said, “Hamish Ellis carried out a vicious and sustained attack on two of our officers who were just simply trying to do their job.
“I am pleased that through the work of the investigating officer Detective Constable Matt Cooke, of Bournemouth CID, we were able to bring Ellis before the courts to face justice for his despicable actions.
“I would like to praise both PC King and PC Donnelly for their bravery and courage, not only at the incident, but also while reading their statements in court.
“All too often police officers and staff are subjected to assaults and threats. It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated, they are not simply ‘part of the job’.
“Police colleagues suffer not just physical injuries, but also psychological effects. Many find the return to frontline duties after being assaulted especially challenging or traumatic.”
Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said, “This hearing serves as a reminder that, while assaulting police officers is completely unacceptable, those who are cowardly enough to do this should face a severe punishment.
“Both of these officers are heroes and we should all be inspired by their courage and professionalism – on the day of the assault and in facing up to their attacker in court. As well as quite rightly receiving the Judge’s Commendation, they have also earned the gratitude and respect of Dorset’s residents.”
Emergency services and other partner agencies across Dorset are working together to highlight verbal abuse, assaults or attacks their staff face as part of the #Unacceptable campaign. More information can be found here: https://www.dorset.police.uk/covid-19-coronavirus/unacceptable-campaign/
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