Grindon Lane man given ‘last chance’ after hitting female police officer on head with her own baton

A Grindon man has avoided prison after he struck a female police officer on her head with her own baton.

In July last year, Richard Price was asked to stop by an officer who recognised him. He was wanted on a prison recall. However, he ran away and the officer gave chase, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Stuart Graham said the officer followed him and withdrew her baton. She struck his legs and when he stumbled, she grabbed him.

“He was fidgeting and her baton ended up on the floor,” said Mr Graham. “She has his hands behind his back. He was able to force them free and he picked up the baton.”

The officer asked members of the public for help and a man came to assist. However, Price then “swung the baton around and hit the officer to the side of her head.”

“Despite this, she was able to apply handcuffs and a PCSO was able to assist. CS gas has been deployed at some point,” Mr Graham added. The prosecutor said that when interviewed, the defendant suggested the officer “should have her job reviewed for having dropped her baton”.

In a statement, the officer described how her sight went black after she was struck by the baton and her vision was blurred. She had throbbing pain to her left ear.

When she went to hospital, she could not open her mouth and had “significant pain to her jaw”, the court was told. It was also said she was anxious about returning to work and performing her duties.

Price, 40, of Grindon Lane pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, namely the officer’s baton.

He also admitted an offence of breaching a restraining order, which was previously imposed in relation to an ex-partner. He was charged after his ex-partner saw him in an area he was prohibited from being in.