Photos of the shocking injuries sustained by a police officer who was stopping a fight have been released, as the attacker walks free from court.
Sgt Alec Barrett sustained concussion, a broken eye socket, bleeding in his sinuses, a broken nose and damage to his cheek when he attempted to protect the public as a fight broke out in Brighton.
A man approached the Sussex Police officer from behind taking a running punch at his face, punching him in the face again several times seriously injuring him.
Jonathan Beauchamp was given a year’s custodial sentence suspended for two years.
He was also put on a five-month curfew and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,000 in compensation.
Following the attack, Sgt Barrett said,
“I was in a vulnerable position on the ground when the man sucker-punched me from a position that I didn’t see coming.
"When I regained full consciousness, I looked up to try to work out what had happened as I knew I was defenceless, he then punched me again a few more times in the face whilst standing over me.
"My face is horrendously swollen, initially located around my eye, but now it’s around my cheek and one side of my face.
"I’ve been assaulted before, but I now find myself apprehensive about going back to work, especially operational duty, where I might be in the same position again, it’s affected me and my family who now worry about me going to work”.
Last year on-average, more than three assaults take place on Sussex Police officers every single day, with 1,322 attacked in total.
Sgt Raffaele Cioffi, Deputy Secretary of Sussex Police Federation, said,
"This is a lenient sentence for a violent criminal whose cowardly attack on a defenceless police officer left him with serious injuries.
"Let’s not forget that Sgt Barrett was trying to protect members of the public and was violently attacked for doing so, he was lucky not to have been blinded.
“The Federation continues to call on the courts to do their bit and protect the protectors, custodial sentences are the strongest deterrent to stop these kinds of attacks - anything less does not protect us.
"Sadly, yet again, we see the courts going soft on violent crime, it’s an outrageous decision by the court and I fear officers will continue to be seriously injured until they take it seriously.”
Sgt Barrett added, “It’s been a reality check about the dangers of my job. I’ve had calls from people in the force with good wishes and the Federation have supported me, lots of people have been in touch, which is a really nice gesture, and it is really appreciated”.
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