A THUG who battered a police officer around the head with a canister of CS spray has been warned to expect a ‘lengthy’ jail sentence.
Michael Dolan, aged 49, assaulted PC Glen Hill when the officer arrived at The Mail Coach pub on Wellgate, Rotherham, to deal with a row which had broken out over smoking.
PC Hill suffered around 30 blows to his head with his own CS spray and was admitted to hospital with a number of deep lacerations to his head.
Dolan, of Adelaide Street, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to wounding at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday and had his case adjourned for pre-sentence reports to be carried out.
Recorder Christopher Attwooll warned him prison was ‘almost inevitable’ after being told the offence was ranked by the Crown Prosecution Service as being at the most serious end of the scale for wounding.
Addressing Dolan, the judge said: “Pre-sentence reports have been ordered to assist the person who will sentence you to come to a proper conclusion.
“I don’t predict any matter but you will understand, I am sure, that with this sort of offence - assaulting an officer seriously in the execution of his duties - will almost inevitably attract a lengthy custodial sentence.”
Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting, told the court that PC Hill ‘was forced to fight off the defendant’ during the attack.
The incident led to South Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, questioning police chiefs over staffing levels in the force.
Chairman Neil Bowles said the officer should never have been sent single-handed to a disturbance in a pub and suggested there were not enough bobbies on duty that night to help him.
“What I can say is if we are scratching around for officers to go to a job on a Monday evening, that shows you how far the cuts have gone,” he said at the time.
“How can we protect the public if we cannot protect our own?”
Bosses at the time labelled the attack on PC Hill as ‘entirely unacceptable’ and said officers are no longer routinely sent out in pairs anymore.
South Yorkshire Police has shed posts over recent years to help save £43 million following Government budget cuts.
Dolan will be sentenced on April 16.