A man has been sent to prison after eight officers had petrol thrown over them in Basildon – with two hospitalised after digesting the noxious liquid.
Justin Jackson, 28, of Ward Close, Basildon, received three years and nine months for eight counts of administering a noxious substance with intent to injury, aggrieve or annoy at Basildon Crown Court today, Thursday 7 November.
He previously admitted the offences at the same court on Tuesday 24 September.
On Sunday 5 May, officers monitoring an organised event in Canvey were made aware of a motorbike being ridden dangerously.
The motorbike performed wheelies, rode across pedestrian areas and travelled the wrong way up roads, almost colliding with a car.
With support from the police helicopter, police followed it to Ward Close in Basildon, with the rider eventually being arrested when confronted by officers armed with Tasers.
While arresting the teenager, we also detained further people and it was while carrying out those arrests that eight officers were attacked by Justin Jackson, who ran up to them from behind armed with a red watering can full of petrol before covering them with the substance.
Two required immediate hospital treatment while six others were treated by emergency partners at the scene for either burns or petrol in their eyes.
Justin was arrested after going back to his home nearby and changing his clothes.
Despite the ordeal they suffered, all eight officers were back on duty the same day.
Superintendent Jonathan Baldwin, who was one of the eight victims that day, said: “The events of that day will always remain with me.
“I know when I speak on behalf of the other seven officers who found themselves being doused in petrol by Jackson that it will stay with us for a long time.
”It’s not the physical effects of feeling the burning on your arm, the stinging in your eyes – that all passes fairly quickly – it’s the fact now that every time I attend an operational incident there is the thought in the back of my mind that takes me back to that moment when somebody shouted “petrol, petrol, petrol!”
“What makes me most proud is that none of the officers covered in petrol and taken to hospital took any time off sick. They came back to work with fortitude, conviction and dedication because they don’t just do the job for themselves, they do the job for the public.”
Chief Constable Ben-Julian (BJ) Harrington said: “When the news broke that eight Essex Police officers were attacked in such a horrendous way, it sent shockwaves through our force. I felt it just like everybody else.
The officers were out protecting the public doing their duty. Their response, their restraint and the their bravery was first class.
“Officers know that they will have to face danger and confrontation, but this does not mean it is acceptable. I am pleased that the courts today have recognised this by imprisoning Justin Jackson for his crime.
It was no surprise that all of the officers carried on their shifts that night and ever since, but I know they will still be feeling the emotional effects from that day and we will continue to support them.
“I want to thank them on behalf of the whole force and the people of Essex for their determination and courage. They are a true testament to the what British policing is all about.
“No officer should ever get attacked for doing their job – protecting and serving our communities to keep them safe. I know we have the support of the public in doing this and officers and staff know they have my support.
“I do though want to make it very clear. If you assault my officers or staff, we will pursue you relentlessly within the law to ensure that you face justice – just like Justin Jackson has.”
A 17-year-old from Basildon was sentenced at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Friday 16 August for driving a motor vehicle dangerously. He was disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined.
Janine Justin, 47, of Ward Close, Basildon, was found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon at Basildon Crown Court and today received nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months. She was fined £140 and was ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work.
Shannon Jackson, 20, of Ward Close, Basildon, is due to appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court today, Thursday 7 November, with obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty. She will next appear at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 20 February for a trial.
A 30-year-old from Basildon has been released without charge for assault by beating of an emergency worker and a 17-year-old girl from Corringham has been released without charge for assisting an offender.