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The Bournemouth Echo
10:07am Monday 12th January 2009
A MAN who held a policeman by the throat until the officer thought he was going to lose consciousness has been jailed for 18 months.
Shop-fitter Trevor Holmes attacked the police officer after his sister was arrested for drink-driving.
Prosecuting at Bournemouth Crown Court, Desmond Duffy said trouble had erupted in Blackburn Road, Parkstone in Poole, on August 12 last year.
When Holmes insisted he had been behind the wheel, he was arrested for perverting the course of justice.
PC Craig Chapman followed 41-year-old Holmes into his sister’s address and attempted to handcuff him.
Mr Duffy added: “He lashed out with his fists and both men ended up on the ground with Mr Holmes on top.
“He put his arms around the neck of the officer who felt Mr Holmes was trying to strangle him. He was struggling to breathe, pushing the emergency button on his radio but there was no response.
“Mr Holmes increased the pressure. This lasted several minutes and PC Chapman felt he was going to lose consciousness.
“He struck Mr Holmes with his baton but it had no effect. PC Chapman was going dizzy and getting weak, pleading with Mr Holmes to stop.”
The court heard how a colleague had realised PC Chapman was missing and come to his aid, finding Holmes applying “a choke hold”.
Mr Duffy said: “He had to strike Mr Holmes a number of times before he released PC Chapman. Other officers came to his assistance. It required all of them to restrain Mr Holmes successfully.”
PC Chapman, 28, suffered a head injury, facial bruising and a severe headache. He had to take two months off work and still suffers neck pain. The officer’s plans to run this year’s London marathon have had to be cancelled.
In Holmes’s defence, the court heard that he had been distressed following the break-up of his marriage, losing his job and his home.
He had made two suicide attempts and taken a cocktail of anti-depressants and painkillers. The offence had been out of character and he apologised to his victim.
Sentencing Holmes, Judge Samuel Wiggs told him: “Unfortunately PC Chapman found himself alone with you and you attacked him in a vicious and violent way.
“Your attack had devastating effects on PC Chapman’s work, his family life, his sporting life and quality of life. PC Chapman feared for his life which may indeed have been at risk.”
After the case, the investigating officer DC Scott Brimicombe said: “PC Chapman was rendered unconscious in what was a prolonged assault. It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened if he hadn’t been rescued.”