Rayleigh man who stabbed police officer at his home sentenced

A police officer, who heroically tackled a man that stabbed him outside his own home, said he just wants to get back to doing his job as his attacker was sentenced.

The Essex Police Sergeant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he continues to live with the emotional and physical scars of being stabbed 11 times in front of his wife and children.

But the valiant officer remains determined to continue protecting and serving the people of Essex.

John McCartney, 40, of Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, was sentenced today, Friday March 6, to an indefinite hospital order under Section 41 of the Mental Health Act at Basildon Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to attempted murder.

The court heard McCartney, who had been to the same school as the officer, had become fixated with him and began a campaign of harassment.

On Wednesday April 24 last year at around 9pm the officer was at his home in Rayleigh with his wife and children when there was a knock at the door.

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

He was stabbed 11 times and, despite suffering horrific injuries, battled to restrain McCartney and kept him away from his family home and neighbours.

The sergeant suffered stab wounds to the arm, armpit, chin, shoulder, chest, abdomen and stomach and his bowel was also penetrated and exposed by the knife.

Despite his serious injuries and the prolonged attack, he 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 was helped by his wife and neighbours who treated his injuries and helped restrain McCartney until police and paramedics arrived.

The sergeant was taken to hospital in a critical condition where he underwent surgery.

During the sentencing, a victim personal statement from the officer was read out during which he selflessly described his concern for his loved ones, neighbours and colleagues as they tried to help him during the horrific attack.

He said his family will never forget the traumatic events of that night and both he and they felt unsafe in their own home.

In his statement, the officer said: “When I look back now at the night of that incident it is very hard for me to process.

“I think about lying on the floor once police had taken McCartney away and the feeling of starting to deteriorate. I think about my wife and neighbour having to use scissors to cut off my clothes and try to stop my bleeding.

“I feel desperately sorry for them both and everyone who helped me. I think about being surrounded by doctors who were telling my wife to call my family and get them to the hospital sooner rather than later.

“I also think about the little things like the officer in the back of the ambulance who was writing everything I said in her pocket notebook – I knew she was doing that to get my dying declaration.

“Physically things are fixing well but the scars are a constant reminder of that night. All the little things add up and are constant reminders of what McCartney has done to me and put my family through. It will stay with us for the rest of our lives

“I was advised by doctors that I may not return to work for over a year but, from where I was last April, I’ve returned back to full duties and I’m looking forward to the future.”

Following the hearing, Chief Constable BJ Harrington, said: “On that night, without doubt, the actions of my officer meant his family, his neighbours, his community were protected and safe.

“He acted as a selfless father, husband, neighbour and police officer when, despite his life-threatening injuries, he never gave up and, against all the odds, he continued in his duty to protect and serve.

“My officer is a remarkable man and a remarkable officer. His actions and today’s sentencing means the streets of our county are safe and McCartney is where he belongs where he will receive appropriate treatment and not pose a threat to others.

“We are all proud to know him and proud to serve alongside him. But, as his Chief Constable, I do not underestimate the physical and psychological impact this has had upon him and his family.

“I and his Essex Police family continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with him and support the sergeant and his loved ones as they piece their lives back together.

“I have said it before, but I cannot say it enough, that I must also express my pride in this officer’s wife, community, police and ambulance colleagues.

“None of us can imagine their horror or terror that night but they undoubtedly saved our officer’s life and helped take over securing McCartney.

“My officers who attended that night and the detectives who investigated this offence, have shown nothing but the upmost professionalism and dedication throughout, which is nothing less than I have come to expect from my team and is why I’m such a proud chief constable.”

McCartney pleaded guilty to attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon at an earlier hearing at Basildon Crown Court.


Mick Ferris

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