Sheffield man struck police officer with claw hammer

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Plain clothes police officers were attacked by a man wielding a claw hammer who mistook them for troublemakers, a court heard.

Jason Taylor, aged 43, of Upperthorpe, in Upperthorpe, Sheffield, had been suffering problems with a neighbour in the flats where he lived.

Last November six officers were called to the flats and Taylor came out of his home and asked them who they were. He did not believe they were police officers and returned to his flat before coming back downstairs and asking them to produce their warrant cards.

Michael Tooley, prosecuting, said he appeared satisfied – but minutes later returned with a claw hammer and struck PC Christian Ardron on the arm.

The officer needed hospital treatment.

Long-term crack cocaine addict Taylor tried to run away but was arrested after officers used CS gas on him.

Robert Smith, defending, said Taylor had lived on Upperthorpe for four years and suffered abuse and disturbance from others in the flats.

He had ‘fallen through society’s net’ and was in a vulnerable state suffering from psychotic problems and depression.

Mr Smith said: “He believed they were there for no good, mistaken belief that it was.”

Taylor admitted possessing an offensive weapon and was jailed for eight months.

Judge Julian Goose said: “Your attack was a violent one and a frightening one against police officers who were doing their duty.

“It was a very dangerous act.”