Officer’s life ‘drastically changed’ after man bites his face during sustained assault

·3-min read
David Hilden bit the police officer on the face. (Kent Police_
David Hilden bit the police officer on the face. (Kent Police_

A police officer had his life “drastically changed” after a man bit him on the face during a “vicious and sustained assault”.

David Hilden, 22, attacked the officer - referred to in court as PC Matthews - while his friend Robbie Booth, 23, was detained for failing to stop his car.

The police officer had spotted a grey BMW that parked in the Maidstone, Kent, at around 11.10am on 21 October, moments after it failed to stop for officers, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

When they tried to arrest Booth, who had been driving the car, Hilden approached from behind and punched the officer in the face.

Read: Tributes paid to dad who died in multi-vehicle crash on A1

The 22-year-old continued to attack the officer, biting him in the face causing a series of injuries.

Booth reached under the car seat and retrieved a black package before he and Hilden ran away.

They were later seen by another officer who chased them over a field before capturing them, the court heard.

The injured officer was taken to hospital for treatment for facial lacerations and bruising.

In victim impact statements, the officer described how the assault had affected him.

Prosecutor Stacey-Lee Holland, who read out the statement, said: "This assault has drastically changed his life in a variety of ways.

"The incident still plays on his mind while in his line of work as a police officer, he says he feels wary about those who may wish to cause him harm and is reminded of what happened by his scars.

Watch: Commuters stunned as stolent 4x4 driven onto train tracks after police offers injured by driver

"He is the father of two young children and one was upset at his injuries.

"He said, 'My daughter worries about me going to work, having seen me come back from work with injuries, and still refers to the attack and talks about the baddies'."

Hilden and Booth pleaded guilty to assault and possessing the Class B drugs.

Recorder David Vince said: "This was plainly a vicious and sustained assault on a police officer who was simply discharging his duty to serve the public.

"The assault you committed was an affront to that. I have seen the photographs of the injuries and it is clear what you did to the officer has had a lasting effect on him, on his personal and professional life and his sense of well-being.

"It was a deliberate, albeit spontaneous, attack. It was an assault on an emergency worker, and that is the most significant aggravating factor of this offence."

Booth received a one-year prison sentence suspended for 18 months and was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and pay £700 compensation.

Hilden was jailed for 21 months.

Deputy Area Commander Superintendent Jon Kirby, said: "This was a brutal and cowardly assault on an officer by two men who thought they could avoid being arrested.

"However, they were swiftly tracked down by patrols responding to assist their injured colleague, who I am pleased to say is back at work serving the public."

Watch: Body mounted cameras to protect paramedics