Axeman ‘delivered measured blows to cause maximum damage’ to Sheffield PC, says witness

Nathan Sumner
Nathan Sumner

A man hitting Sheffield police officer Lisa Bates with an axe was delivering ‘measured’ blows in an attempt to ‘cause the maximum damage’, an eyewitness has said.

Simon Ellis told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court he had seen defendant Nathan Sumner pause at one stage in his attack on PC Bates to wait for her to be in a less protected position before hitting her with the weapon.

Lisa Bates

Lisa Bates

PC Bates was attacked on April 13 this year in Gleadless Valley by Sumner, who has admitted a charge of grievous bodily harm but denies attempted murder and an alternative count of GBH with intent.

The defence say Sumner, aged 35 and of Plowright Close, Gleadless Valley, was suffering a psychotic episode at the time of the attack.

Sam Green QC, prosecuting, asked why Mr Ellis had described Sumner’s attack as including ‘measured blows’.

The witness, who was giving evidence via video link, said: “His body position was such that he could obviously fully take swings of his weapon as it connected with the police officer.

“With one of the blows, he actually waited for the police officer to lower her hand before connecting.

“He was waiting for the opportunity to cause the maximum damage.”

Mr Ellis said he had originally thought the weapon being used was some kind of hammer due to the distance he was from the incident.

PC Bates was lying on the ground close to Mr Ellis’ property after she had broken her leg jumping down a flight of stairs in an attempt to escape from Sumner as he chased her with an axe.

The court has previously heard how Mr Ellis pulled the heavily-bleeding PC Bates into his flat, where he could see the index finger on her right hand was hanging off.

Sumner was eventually arrested in a nearby Co-op store by police who first tried to subdue him with batons before he was finally brought to the ground by a Taser.

Kayleigh Barton, Sumner’s girlfriend at the time, told court on Monday that he began ‘acting a bit crazy’ in the days leading up to the attack.

Miss Barton told police Sumner started talking about aliens, devils, the Illuminati and being assassinated. She said on the evening of the attack he was swinging an axe around in his maisonette, taking chunks out of the floor.

The case continues.


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