‘Thug’ is caged after attack on police officer in Bury St Edmunds

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A man who attacked a Bury St Edmunds police officer has been branded “a thug” by a judge.

Kane O’Brien, 20, was today sentenced to 38 months in a Young Offenders Institution.

Ipswich Crown Court heard the attack on Pc Rob Diver on November 21 took place just six days after O’Brien was handed a suspended prison term for assaulting another officer.

Activating the four month sentence and adding 34 months for wounding a police officer to which O’Brien had pleaded guilty, Judge Rupert Overbury told him: “Police officers in our in county have a difficult enough job as it is without having to deal with thugs like you and you are a thug.”

Judge Overbury said O’Brien, of St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds, had a history of violence including assaults on police officers, many committed after heavy drinking.

Despite a plea from defence barrister Quentin Newcomb for ‘one last chance’ Judge Overbury said: “This isn’t the time when you should be given a chance. You have been given chance after chance after chance. The time has come when the streets should be rid of your violent behaviour.”

Prosecuting, Patricia Doggett said Pc Diver was called to The Vinefields following reports of an incident. O’Brien initially walked away from the officer but then turned with his fists clenched and began saying repeatedly: ’Come on then.’

Pc Diver tried to calm O’Brien but was struck in the face, knocking off his glasses and leaving blood streaming down his face, said Miss Doggett.

O’Brien was detained after a defensive spray used by Pc Diver began to take effect and other officers arrived.

The court heard that Pc Diver was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital where he needed nine stitches to treat cuts on his forehead.

When interviewed O’Brien declined to answer questions but handed police a written statement in which he admitted responsibility for the attack and said he was sorry.

Mr Newcomb said O’Brien had subsequently written a letter of apology to Pc Diver and had expressed genuine remorse.

O’Brien had begun drinking heavily at the age of 16 and had a tendency to then resort to violence, said Mr Newcomb. At the time of the attack on Pc Diver, he was dealing with a number of difficult issues in his life.