Donington man punched female police officer

A Donington man who punched a female police officer after she was called to his home has been ordered to pay her compensation of £8,500 after she lost a front tooth. 

Jason Garfoot, 51, was spared a jail sentence after a judge said he was satisfied that he appreciated the impact of his actions and that he was suffering a mental health breakdown at the time.

Lincoln Crown Court heard two officers were called to the address in Pinder Lane on November 14 after reports that a man was acting aggressively towards a paramedic.

Noel Philo, prosecuting, said the officers were informed that a man called Jason had been drinking and had possibly taken some prescribed medication.

“All of a sudden a man aggressively appeared at the doorway,” Mr Philo told the court.” 

“He came to the door and aggressively barged past the paramedic who was stood infront of him.”

Mr Philo said a male officer tried to calm the situation by pushing Mr Garfoot with a palm to his chest.

“Mr Garfoot reacted, he swung a very heavy punch which missed,” Mr Philo added.

Mr Philo said the punch was clearly aimed at the male officer but missed and struck a female officer who was standing nearby.

“It was a very violent blow which injured the police woman, she also fell down and suffered grazes as well,” Mr Philo said.

The officer also suffered a loosened front tooth which had to be removed, the court was told.

Mr Garfoot was instantly apologetic during his police interview and admitted his wrongdoing at the first opportunity after being shown body camera footage of the incident.

He admitted two charges of assaulting an emergency worker (the paramedic) and assault occasioning actual bodily harm to the police officer on November 14 last year.

The court heard Mr Garfoot also sent a bunch of flowers and a letter of apology to the officer, and offered to pay for all of her future dental treatment.

A victim impact statement from the injured police officer was read out in court.

In it the officer stated she had completely lost a front tooth and required a temporary tooth for three to six months which was extremely awkward. This left her feeling very self conscious and avoiding social occasions.

The officer said she had to pay £1,500 for the initial dental treatment, which was later reimbursed by her employer, and now required a tooth implant to be fitted.

Despite the incident, which happened early in her police career, the officer said it had not knocked her confidence and she still wanted to help people.

The officer added assaults were part of the job but said she wanted people to understand the impact of their actions.

Gavin Edmondson, mitigating for Mr Garfoot, told the court it was clear from the many references handed into the court that he was a well respected man who was an active part of the community and a local speed awareness group, and also ran two companies.

Mr Edmondson said Mr Garfoot was ashamed for assaulting a police officer and had many relatives and friends who were firefighters, police officers or councillors.

It was clear Mr Garfoot had suffered a mental health breakdown on the day of the incident, Mr Edmondson added.

“He has osteoarthritis in his knees and suffers from acute pain,” Mr Edmondson told the court. “The NHS had put him back for knee replacements.”

Mr Edmondson said Mr Garfoot was also in a position to pay £3,500 to the officer straight away for her dental treatment, and was in a position to pay her a further £1,000 a month.

Passing sentence Judge James House KC said: “What happened this night was a disgrace, but I do accept it was an isolated incident.”

Judge House said custody would be justified but added that sending Mr Garfoot to an overcrowded prison would achieve little.

“It is apparent there was a reason behind this, he was suffering a mental health breakdown,” Judge House added.

Judge House said it was also clear that Mr Garfoot, unlike many defendants, did appreciate the impact of his actions.

Mr Garfoot was sentenced to a 12 month community order and told to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days. 

He was also ordered to pay the officer £3,500 compensation within 28 days and a further £5,000 within six months, and £550 court costs.

Judge House also commended the officer for her desire to stay in the job and continue to help people.

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