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Whiplash claims for police duty?

Police offiicers
14th May 2014
A policewoman could pursue whiplash claims after being attacked by a Dursley teenager during late night violence in Stroud town centre – which has left her feeling apprehensive and fearful of frontline duty.

Local newspaper in the south-west region The Gazette reports that PC Jade Chetcuti was thrown to the ground by Jamie Burfoot and suffered a bang in the head which left her concussed.

At Gloucester Crown Court today Burfoot, 19, of Water Street, was sentenced to 12 months' custody after he admitted assaulting PC Chetcuti causing her actual bodily harm. He also admitted assaulting PC Gregor Munro in the execution of his duty.

Prosecutor Lisa Hennessy said the incident happened in the early hours of June 26 outside a kebab shop in the centre of Stroud, in events that could lead to accident cliams.

Police were detaining another man when Burfoot intervened and tried to free that person from PC Munro.

WPC Chetcuti intervened to help and Burfoot pushed her over so that she banged her head on the ground. As Burfoot moved away from her he appeared to kick or stamp on her, she alleged.

Mrs Hennessy said the officer suffered a small laceration to the head and was physically sick at the scene. She had a stiff neck from a whiplash injury.

In a victim impact statement WPC Chetcuti said she was on restricted duties for three months after the incident and it frustrated her to be stuck behind a desk and unable to help overstretched colleagues in operational duties.

The assault had 'severely knocked my confidence,' she stated.

"Prior to being assaulted I was happy to go to incidents single crewed and to attend public order incidents."

"On October 14 it took every ounce of me not to turn and run in the opposite direction at such an incident. I find this extremely upsetting because it is not my normal character."

She said she was having to finance physiotherapy for her neck and back and she was also finding herself less patient and extremely irritable.

"I think I have gone through every known emotion since being assaulted - from being sad to angry and everything in between."

Lloyd Jenkins, defending, conceded the offence was ''gratuitous violence in a moment of drunken madness in the early hours in Stroud when officers have a difficult enough job to do already".

He said when he showed Burfoot the CCTV of the incident he was shocked, embarassed and remorseful.

Posted by Bryony Flack-Crane