Southend man jailed for attacking police officers

A man who racially abused and attacked police has been jailed for 18 months.

Two officers had gone to Kursaal Way, Southend, on April 4 to arrest Luke Harding in connection with another matter.

He initially gave false details then ran off into a block of flats.

One officer caught up with him but Harding kicked him in the legs and punched him in the face several times as the officer tried to restrain him.

Harding then racially abused his colleague and bit him several times on the arm.

They called for back up because of his violent behaviour. An officer and Special Constable went to help restrain him, but Harding kicked one of the women in the stomach and kicked the other several times.

He headbutted a fifth officer and assaulted a sixth while he was being taken to a police van.

Even in custody, Harding continued to behave aggressively and racially abused an officer and headbutted another.

The 32-year-old of Kursaal Way, Southend, was charged with seven counts of assaulting an emergency worker and two of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

He admitted the charges at Basildon Crown Court on Monday June 1 and was jailed for a total of 18 months.

Southend district commander Chief Inspector Ian Hughes said: “Harding was consistently hostile and aggressive towards our officers, who put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep members of the public safe.

“In sentencing Harding, the judge said he used violent, aggressive behaviour and vile racial abuse towards our officers, and referenced the extra risk he posed by biting an officer during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Fortunately they were not seriously hurt and no members of the public were put at risk.

“This sentence highlights the seriousness of the incident and we will not tolerate this kind of abhorrent violent behaviour towards any of our officers and Special Constables, who show courage and professionalism every day to protect the public.”

Mick Ferris

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