A man who left two police officers ‘for dead’ following a “ferocious” attack has been sentenced to life in prison.
Priest was sentenced to life
in prison with a minimum term
of seven-and-a-half years
Police Constables Geoff Hill and Karl Odgers, were “lucky to be alive” after being repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on by Simon Priest, 41, as they attended a domestic incident in Aldershot on February 7.
A fellow officer described the assaults as the worst he had seen in his 24 years of policing.
Priest pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, attempted GBH, escape from lawful custody, theft of handcuffs and possession of a Taser.
Judge Keith Cutler handed him a life sentence, with a minimum of seven-and-a-half-years in prison.
Body-worn video footage of the harrowing incident was shown at Winchester Crown Court on Friday (May 25).
As the Hampshire Constbulary officers arrived at the address, Priest was informed that he would be arrested for allegedly hitting his partner.
He told officers they would need more support if they were to do so, before taking his coat off and subjecting the officers to a vicious attack.
PC Odgers was left with a fractured skull, a “life-threatening” bleed on the brain, multiple face fractures, and was rushed into emergency surgery after he was attacked.
He spent two weeks at St. George’s hospital in London receiving treatment for his injuries.
His colleague PC Hill was stamped on between ten and 15 times with so much force that Priest’s boot mark was left on his head, and he was choked until he passed out.
Representing the officers, Kerry Maylin said PC Hill “thought he would die”.
Priest fled the scene after stealing a Taser and a set of handcuffs, and was arrested later that evening by officers close to the scene.
Judge Cutler told Priest: “This was a horrific attack. You reacted with alarming violence, ferocious and vicious.
“These two police officers were replying to a report of a domestic incident. They did everything right.
“Police officers need to know that they will get the full protection of the courts in cases of assaults.
“Both men are lucky that they are able to be around today, and one in this courtroom, to see the result of this case. I am sure there have been many times when they may have felt they would not be here.”
Both officers have now returned to full duties at work.
Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said: “Each and every assault on an officer is unacceptable.
“Karl and Geoff were responding to a cry for help by a woman and her child, when they were attacked in the most appalling manner.
“Our job does come with an element of risk, but what happened that night was truly exceptional.
“We will continue to work hard to ensure that we provide the best welfare and support to our highly-trained officers and staff, who often find themselves moving towards danger, not from it.”
Chair of the Hampshire Police Federation, John Apter, said: “This was a vicious and sustained attack on two police officers doing their duty on behalf of the public. The level of violence used was sickening and the worst I have seen in my 24 years of policing.
“It was only due to the swift medical care received that this horrendous attack did not result in the death of either officer.
“Since the attack the support for the officers from the police family and the wider public has been overwhelming, this is something Karl, Geoff and their families deeply appreciate.
“Today’s sentence will never be enough for what Simon Priest did to those officers, I hope every day he does spend in prison is a long one.”