Man spared jail after stabbing police officer during disturbance in shop

Emergency services at the scene of the incident in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, in which a police officer was stabbed on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Picture courtesy of Police Hour.
Emergency services at the scene of the incident in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, in which a police officer was stabbed on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Picture courtesy of Police Hour.

A man who stabbed a policeman during a self-induced psychotic episode has been spared jail.

Jamie Shillaw, 36, produced a blade on the officer at the Lifestyle Express, in King Oswy Drive.

The Lifestyle Express store in King Oswy Drive

The Lifestyle Express store in King Oswy Drive

It came despite the officer telling an agitated Shillaw he was there to help him.

Teesside Crown Court heard Shillaw was under the influence of something and asked the police officer if he was there to kill him.

The shopkeeper rang police for help after becoming concerned at his behaviour inside the shop on the evening of Saturday, May 27.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, told the court: “The defendant asked the police officer whether he was there to help him or whether he was there to kill him. The officer clearly said he was there to help him.”

But Shillaw grew more agitated and aggressive leading to him pulling a knife from his pocket and brandishing it at the officer, forcing him to back off.

He ordered Shillaw to drop the knife but he failed to comply.

“He described that he never felt so scared,” added Miss Atkinson. “He felt what he initially thought was a punch to the arm but later realised there was a cut caused by the knife.”

Other officers attended and had to use CS spray to subdue Shillaw and arrest him.

The officer attended court and told the judge how the attack had affected him mentally with sleepless nights and flashbacks.

Shillaw, of Whin Meadows, Hartlepool, was given eight months prison suspended for two years after admitting actual bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon and affray.

Rod Hunt, mitigating, said: “It was self-induced psychosis. He can only apologise for getting into such a frightening state.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, said he could suspend the sentence because Shillaw spent two months in prison on remand and does not have a record for violence.

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “Our police officers carry out their job in extremely difficult circumstances and risk their own lives on a daily basis to protect members of the public.

“Officers who are assaulted are victims of crime and an attack on a police officer should never be accepted as ‘part of the job’.

“Anyone who assaults an officer whilst they are carrying out their duty will be put before the courts.”