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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Man jailed after assaulting and threatening Avon and Somerset Police officers

15 November 2023


A man has been jailed for a series of offences including assaulting and threatening officers during an incident in Bristol.

Jay Lawrence, 44, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Monday 13 November, after admitting three counts of assaulting an emergency worker, one count of racially aggravated public order, one further public order offence, assault by beating, and theft from a shop, relating to an incident on Wednesday 13 September.

He was also sentenced for further offences committed in four separate incidents, including attempted robbery, theft from a shop, as well as public order offences, including a racially aggravated offence. He was given a total sentence of six years and one month.

Officers had attended a report of a shoplifting offence in Church Road, Redfield, on Wednesday 13 September, in which a store employee was also assaulted.

While trying to make an arrest, officers were spat at and kicked. On Body Worn Video footage, Lawrence was heard telling one officer, Insp Stuart King, that he would “punch his kids straight in the face” if he ever saw them in public.

Iain Prideaux, Vice Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said: “Officers do not go to work to be assaulted physically or verbally by members of the public and thanks to the tireless professionalism of Inspector Stuart King and the other officers involved in this incident, once again the public are protected. The public are clearly reminded here, that officers face the immediate risk of assault and the ongoing worry of harm when they are off duty.

“Assaults on our officers don’t cause just physical harm, but mental harm too. Sadly, too often we see officers carrying the effects of threats home, it affects their family and impacts on their mental health. This is completely unacceptable.

“I want to thank all the officers involved in this incident – you exemplify the best in policing.”

After the sentencing hearing, Insp Stuart King said: “Unfortunately, this defendant’s behaviour does reflect the abuse and threats officers face on a daily basis from a small minority. It’s totally unacceptable and I shouldn’t have to face this abuse when doing my job to keep our community safe.

“I’m pleased he’s been convicted for these offences, and I hope he’ll now reflect on and address his behaviour.”

Avon and Somerset Police has made a Seven Point Promise to officers, staff and volunteers around the care and support they can expect to receive should they be a victim of an assault."