Daventry man attempts to ‘gouge out’ eye of police officer during arrest

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He was sentenced for assaulting a total of four police officers in two separate incidents

A 38-year-old Daventry man has been sent to prison after assaulting four police officers, during which he attempted to “gouge out” the eye of a female officer.

Anthony O’Brien, of Queens Road, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday, March 7 after pleading guilty to four counts of assaulting police officers, resisting arrest, possessing Class B drugs and failing to surrender to custody.

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Two police constables arrested O’Brien in Queens Road in Daventry in connection with a domestic incident that had been reported to them on March 22, 2022.

Anthony O’Brien, aged 38, from Daventry, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday, March 7.Anthony O’Brien, aged 38, from Daventry, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday, March 7.
Anthony O’Brien, aged 38, from Daventry, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday, March 7.

Gary Short, prosecuting, said that - during his arrest - there was a struggle where defendant wrapped his arm around the neck of one of the officers, ended up on the floor, struck an officer between his chest and chin and kicked one of the officer’s legs.

O’Brien was taken into custody and then released under investigation.

On June 3, 2022 - at around 5.30am - two other police constables were investigating a domestic incident in Green Hill Crescent when they encountered O’Brien carrying a shopping bag containing a glass bottle of vodka and a bottle of coke.

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The defendant told officers his name was Darren and attempted to walk away. When the officer tried to stop O’Brien, he swung his shopping bag at them and then charged at the male officer, delivering a number of punches to his head.

O’Brien then turned his attention to the female police officer, the court heard.

Mr Short told the court: “He punched her to the side of her head and used his hand in an effort to gouge out her eye.”

The police officer fell backwards and struck the back of her head on the floor. She reported feeling a “burning, intense pain” on the back of her eyeball and pain to the back of her head.

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The defendant was subsequently arrested and a small amount of cannabis was found on his person. He gave a no comment interview to police.

O’Brien has 20 relevant previous convictions including criminal damage, battery, assault and possession of a bladed article.

Paul Webb, in mitigation, said O’Brien claimed that officers were “heavy handed” with him and, at the time of the assaults, he had been alcohol dependent for some years due to a cancer diagnosis within the family, which he took “very badly.”

The defence barrister added that the second assault took place in “split seconds” and the way the prosecution described the attack - particularly the attempt at gouging out the officer’s eye - made it sound “a lot more purposeful than shown in the body worn footage.”

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One of the police officers’ body-worn footage was played to the court, which displayed the attack, which lasted under a minute, and then showed a female police officer lying on her back, holding her head in agony.

His Honour Judge Mayo DL, sentencing, said: “I can safely conclude that you have anti police attitudes, you drink too much and you have instability at home.”

OBrien was sentenced to 29 weeks in prison.