Durham police welcome jail sentence for 'vicious' Horden criminal who tried to gouge out officer's eyes

A thug who tried to gouge a police officer's eyes out while being challenged over burgling a house has been jailed.

Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 5:08 pm

Shaun Watkins, described by police as “a particularly nasty criminal”, viciously attacked the PC as he was confronted over allegedly kicking in the door of an address in Peterlee last month.

Seconds after emerging from a bathroom, the 32-year-old lunged at the officer, punching him multiple times in the face and tried to gauge his eyes out, temporarily blinding him.

The officer managed to free himself using his pepper spray and, along with another colleague, restrained Watkins.

Shaun Watkins.

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While he was being restrained, Watkins then headbutted the assisting officer.

He did not respond to questions when interviewed by police, answering only “no comment”.

Watkins, of Ninth Street, Horden, later pleaded guilty in court to assault causing actual bodily harm, assault by beating and criminal damage.

He was sentenced to 18 months in jail when he appeared at Durham Crown Court on Friday, May 6.

Police have welcomed the sentence passed by the court.

Reacting to the outcome, temporary Detective Inspector Darren Wild, of Peterlee CID, said: “Watkins is a particularly nasty criminal who uses any means possible to try to escape justice.

“Thankfully the officer in this case used his training to contain Watkins despite being temporarily blinded.

“No officer should ever be attacked let alone in such a violent way and we are glad to see Watkins behind bars where he can cannot harm anyone else for the foreseeable.”