Case study: Metropolitan - nose broken by elbow to the face

PC James McGahan

PC James McGahan

PC James McGahan suffered a broken nose when he was elbowed “hard in the face” by a man in custody.

The Metropolitan Police offcer was called to a domestic incident in Hounslow in August 2018. The suspect was arrested for making threats to kill his mother, and started behaving strangely in the van on the way to the station.

PC McGahan recalls: “One minute he was smiling and laughing and the next he was glaring at us. Then when we got to the station I was explaining why he was there and the allegation seemed to spark him off. Without any warning he elbowed me very hard in the face and caused me to stagger backwards.”

PC McGahan was off sick for two weeks with a broken nose and black eyes. He had diffculty breathing and sleeping and has been left feeling more apprehensive and cautious, particularly when single crewed.

He says: “After eight months in the offce on acting sergeant duty, I had just returned to the frontline when this happened. It’s the worst assault I’ve had in my fve years of policing.

“I’m thankful for the support I received from colleagues and pleased he was jailed for 20 months. Luckily the whole incident was caught on CCTV so he had no option but to plead guilty. It shows the value of CCTV and body worn video.

“I support tougher sentences to deter those who think it’s okay to attack the emergency services.”

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