Rayleigh man pleads guilty to attempted murder of police officer

A man, who stabbed a police officer outside his own home in a frenzied attack, has pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

John McCartney, 40, of Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, appeared at Basildon Crown today, Monday January 13, where he pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon.

The court heard McCartney, became fixated with the officer, launching a campaign of harassment against him on social media, despite the pair only ever saying ‘hello’ in passing.

On Wednesday April 24, 2019 at around 9pm the officer was at his family home in Rayleigh when there was a knock at the door.

The officer went outside to see who it was and it was then that, without warning, McCartney launched a sustained and frenzied knife attack on the officer.

Despite suffering 11 stab and slash wounds, a number of which were extremely serious, the officer, who cannot be identified due to court imposed reporting restrictions, battled to keep McCartney away from his family home and to restrain him..

He suffered stab wounds to the arm, armpit, chin, shoulder, chest, abdomen and stomach. The injury to his stomach penetrated his bowel and left it exposed.

Despite his serious injuries, and as McCartney continued to slash at him, the officer managed to tackle McCartney to the ground, jump on his back and then lay on top of him restraining him until help arrived.

The officer’s wife and neighbours helped restrain McCartney and treated his injuries until police and paramedics arrived.

The officer was taken to hospital in a critical condition where he underwent surgery. He is now recovering at home from the physical and emotional scars of that day.

Following today’s hearing Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “Today I am proud and humbled to say I am a colleague of this officer.

“Despite being the victim of a frenzied attack, despite suffering horrific and life-changing injuries, he continued to put the safety of his family and his neighbours first.

“With devastating and critical injuries, he tackled and restrained McCartney to ensure he did not and could not hurt anyone else.

“He is a credit to Essex Police both as an officer and a human being, he is a credit to his community and a credit to his family.

“I would also like to pay tribute to this officer’s wife and neighbours, police colleagues and paramedics who rushed to his aide. I cannot imagine the scene they must have faced and I have no doubt their actions played a vital part in saving his life.

“I must also thank our team of detectives, who as always, have shown their dedication and professionalism in extremely difficult circumstances and worked tirelessly to put this case before the courts.

“Any violent attack on any individual, regardless of their profession, is unacceptable.

“There is no doubt that the fact the victim in this case is a serving Essex Police officer was part of the motivation of this attack.

“Every day, across the country, police officers run into the face of danger whilst others run away. They protect and serve you, their communities, often without a second thought for the risk or danger they may face.

“But sadly, all too often, they are assaulted, sometimes with the most tragic, serious and devastating, consequences.”

In a statement, the officer said: “The events of Wednesday April 24 have had a huge impact on not just my life but those of my family, close friends, neighbours and policing colleagues.

“They, like me, continue to live with the emotional scars of that day, but I am thankful to all of them – my wife, family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and paramedics who undoubtedly not only saved my life on that day but have continued to support me since.

“Words are not enough to describe how much everything they have done and all of their love and support has meant to me.

“I am also grateful to my detective colleagues who I know have worked extremely hard to investigate the events of that day.

“This is a very difficult time for both me and my loved ones and, as my family and I try to return to some sort of normality, I would ask that our privacy is respected at this time.

“But I continue to be grateful for the support and well wishes from the community.“

McCartney was remanded and will return to Basildon Crown Court for sentence on March 6.


Mick Ferris

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