Horden man jailed after attempting to gouge police officer's eyes out in Peterlee home

Shaun Watkins has been jailed for 18 months. Credit: Durham Police

A man who tried to gouge a police officer's eyes out while being challenged over burgling a home has been jailed.

Shaun Watkins attacked the PC as he was confronted after kicking the door in of an address in Peterlee last month.

The PC let Watkins finish in the toilet he claimed to be using before placing him under arrest.

But just seconds after emerging from the bathroom the 32-year-old lunged at the PC, punching him multiple times in the face and trying to gauge his eyes out.

The PC managed to free himself using his pepper spray and, along with another colleague, restrained Watkins.

As he was being restrained, Watkins also head-butted the assisting officer.

Body cam footage shows Shaun Watkins coming out of the toilet. Credit: Durham Police

Watkins, of Ninth Street, Horden, gave a ‘no comment’ interview following the incident on 7 April but later pleaded guilty to three charges - assault causing actual bodily harm, assault by beating and criminal damage.

He appeared at Durham Crown Court on 6 May and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

T/Detective Inspector Darren Wild, of Peterlee CID, said: “Watkins is a particularly nasty criminal who uses any means possible to try to escape justice.

“Thankfully the officer in this case used his training to contain Watkins despite being temporarily blinded.

“No officer should ever be attacked let alone in such a violent way and we are glad to see Watkins behind bars where he can cannot harm anyone else for the foreseeable.”

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