Sheffield PC describes horrifying axe attack

PC Lisa Bates
PC Lisa Bates
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A Sheffield police officer has described the moment she was attacked with an axe by a mentally ill man.

PC Lisa Bates told Sheffield Crown Court about events of April 13 this year, when she was brutally attacked while attending a disturbance at an address in Gleadless.

Nathan Sumner

Nathan Sumner

Nathan Sumner, aged 35, and of Plowright Close, Gleadless Valley, has pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm but denies two other charges - one of attempted murder and an alternative count of causing GBH with intent.

The court previously heard Sumner was in the middle of a psychotic episode when he carried out the horrifying attack on PC Bates, which left her with a gash on her head and a finger hanging off.

Giving evidence today, PC Bates told jurors she attended Sumner's address with colleague PC Mark Garrett - known as Tez - and knocked on the door twice.

She said the door 'flew open' moments later and Sumner came towards them 'aggressively' and began assaulting PC Garrett.

Sam Green QC, prosecuting, asked if she recalled what Sumner did to her colleague.

PC Bates said: "I saw punches land on his face and head.... He was bouncing around quite aggressive and he was quite big so Tez was struggling to deflect the punches."

PC Bates said she attempted to pull Sumner off PC Garrett but could not overpower him, so decided to gas him.

She said: "He [Sumner] put his hands up briefly but didn't stop being aggressive. A couple of seconds after I had sprayed it he went back into the flat and shut the door."

PC Bates is due to give more evidence this afternoon.

Earlier today Sumner's partner at the time, Kayleigh Barton, gave evidence.

Ms Barton, who had lived with Sumner at his Gleadless address for more than four years, said he went 'a bit crazy' on the Saturday before the incident.

In a police interview the day after the incident, played to the court, she said: "For the past few days he's been going a bit crazy, going on about aliens and the illuminati and things... He's been swinging an axe around the house."

The court heard Sumner started acting strangely after seeing on Facebook that a gun had been fired by youths on motorcycles in Norfolk Park.

Ms Barton added: "For some reason he thinks someone is going to assassinate him.

"I said 'you've got nothing to worry about'. Then he's been going on about the Government and aliens, things are watching him, the illuminati, the devil and things.

"I've been worried about him. I've never known him like this."

Ms Barton said the night before the incident, Sumner was 'screaming and shouting' and smashing up his apartment with an axe, which he had kept under his sofa for four years.

Ms Barton said she managed to escape from the apartment while Sumner was assaulting the officers and took refuge in a neighbour's apartment.

The trial continues.