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Hampshire Police Federation

Southampton man detained for stabbing police officer in neck

12 July 2021

A man with schizophrenia who stabbed a police officer four times during a welfare check has been detained indefinitely at a psychiatric hospital.

Concerns were raised about the condition of 52-year-old Timothy Walsh by his carers, before police arrived at his flat in Southampton on 15 October.

He ran at the officers holding a knife and stabbed one three times in the neck and once in the arm, Salisbury Crown Court was told.

Walsh was deemed unfit to stand trial.

However, following a trial of issues, a jury found Walsh had carried out an act of causing grievous bodily harm.

Officers had tried to contact Walsh for 40 minutes by knocking on the door of his flat in Portswood Road and phoning him, Hampshire Constabulary previously said.

The court heard Walsh then approached the officers without warning and used a small knife to inflict the wounds, before being subdued with a Taser.

Walsh, who was not in court to hear his sentence, was also found by the jury to have assaulted two police officers and two mental health workers during separate attacks in 2019 and 2020.

Judge Angela Morris said Walsh's mental illness had been "deteriorating for some not inconsiderable time" before the incident.

She added: "There is a real and substantial risk that he would commit further offences if he was not detained under the [Mental Health Act].

"It is necessary to protect the public from serious harm... it is not possible to say how long that restriction will be necessary."

Zoe Wakefield, Chair of Hampshire Police Federation, said: “Officers go to work every day not knowing what they are going to be faced with. Sometimes, they are subjected to high levels of harm and violence and we absolutely cannot underestimate the impact this has on them, and their colleagues.

“Although the physical injuries heal, the psychological trauma suffered lasts a lot longer.

“I am pleased this officer and his colleagues have managed to return to work. We will continue to provide him, and his colleagues, with the support they need.”

“I hope thorough risk assessments will be completed of the threat Walsh poses to both the community and police officers before there is any question of his release from hospital.”