Stabbed officer lucky to be back at work after suffering ‘scourge’ of modern society
20 Mar 2017
A judge promised knife-carrying offenders severe sentences for being the “scourge of society” after imposing a nine-year detention on a teenage drug dealer for stabbing an undercover police officer six times.
Callum Ashes: Nine years detention
Police Constable Daniel Hughes was repeatedly attacked with a knife during a struggle while helping colleagues arrest Callum Ashes in Huyton, Merseyside in September 2016.
Ashes argued he was acting in self-defence, claiming PC Hughes and PC Michelle Deveraux assaulted him without declaring they were police.
But a jury at Liverpool Crown Court rejected this assertion after just over an hour of deliberation and found him guilty of wounding with intent.
Ashes, who was found not guilty of attempted murder and assault, was sent to a young offenders’ institution.
The judge, Mr Justice William Davis, said the streets of Merseyside “like many in this country are beset by young men carrying knives who, when something happens, they take out the knife and use their knife”, adding: ”In some cases nothing happens but in others people die.”
He went on: “The carrying of knives is the scourge of society at the moment.”
The court heard that the officer was wounded on September 13 last year after he and three colleagues spotted a man near the Nutgrove Villa health centre in the Huyton district of Liverpool who they recognised as being wanted on suspicion of rape.
The attacker tried to run away, but was stopped by a second officer. PC Hughes, 30, sustained six stab wounds to the head and body.
Justice Davis said Ashes knew they were police officers wanting to speak to him “and the notion he took the knife out to ward people off is defeated by the fact he did not do this and concealed it, then took it out and used it to inflict injuries”.
He added: “Fortunately no lasting damage has been done to PC Hughes who has returned to work. But this is not due to any action on Ashes’ part as he intended to do him serious harm.
“Those who commit serious offences against police officers will receive severe punishment.”
Defence lawyer Dominic Thomas said the background to the offence is not in doubt and Ashes had suffered “a pretty rough two or three weeks”, having previously been stabbed.
He said it wasn’t an excuse but explains “his particular state of mind and paranoia he was in”.
Merseyside Deputy Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: "He didn't think twice when he pulled out a knife and stabbed Constable Hughes, who had gone to the aid of a colleague who was trying to arrest him.
"This incident highlights the dangers officers face every single day."