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Police officer headbutted in ambulance by son of injured man

A ST FLORENCE man who head-butted and bit a police officer whilst inside an ambulance has been given a 16-week suspended prison sentence by Haverfordwest magistrates.

Dylan Hughes, 19, of St Florence, Tenby, admitted the charge of assault by beating on Pc James Meiring when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday.

The court was shown six minutes of distressing and graphic video coverage where Hughes was seen head-butting the officer twice and biting his head.  Despite repeated attempts by the paramedics, an attending army officer and police officers to keep his behaviour in check, Hughes continued to spiral out of control.  “Get the f*** off me, you pussy,” he was heard shouting at the officer.  “You’re not f****** big enough.  Put the f****** cuffs away.  You’re a waste of time. I’m going to knock you out.”

Crown Prosecutor Linda Baker described the incident as ‘absolutely appalling’.  “Bearing in mind the pandemic we’re going through, the behaviour in the ambulance that night was unacceptable,” she said. 

Probation officer Julie Norman went on to say that every emergency worker present in the ambulance that evening feared for their personal safety.  “The paramedics, the army officer and the police officers all feared for their safety that night as a result of Hughes’ actions.”

The offence took place in Johnston on December 18 after Hughes had attended a works-do with colleagues during which he’d drunk ten pints of lager.  His father, who was present in court, had fallen outside a pub and sustained what his solicitor, Tom Lloyd, described as ‘an awful head injury’ which required the services of an ambulance.  Once inside the ambulance however, Hughes’ behaviour went out of control.  Despite on-going efforts by emergency workers to calm him down  he began threatening the officer and his threats turned to reality when he began head-butting Pc Meiring.

“His behaviour was absolutely disgraceful and unacceptable,” said defence solicitor Tom Lloyd. “He’s let himself down tremendously. I’m not making any bones about it; my client knows it’s either custody immediately or custody suspended.  That’s the severity of the case.”

Mr Lloyd went on to say that having spent a considerable length of time with the defendant following the offence, prison would not be a suitable place for Hughes. “He’s genuinely sorry and knows he’ll never come to court again.  Impose whatever you feel fit in the circumstances.  My client will take anything you think he deserves.”

In addition to his 16-week prison sentence suspended for two years, Hughes was ordered to pay £300 compensation to the injured police officer, £85 costs and a £128 surcharge.  He has also been ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work.

Imposing sentence, presiding magistrate Mr David Ellis described the video as ‘absolutely shocking’.  “The emergency workers were all trying to help your father and for all these reasons, we think this (offence) crosses the custody threshold.  You say you’re very embarrassed and ashamed, and so you should be.”

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