Policeman throttled, punched and threatened with axe in 'disgraceful attack'

A policeman was throttled and threatened with an axe attack after arresting a man.

Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 10:04 am
Updated Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 12:12 pm
The axe found inside Melvin's van

Macauley Melvin, 22, punched and choked the constable before threatening to attack him with an axe in Barmston Village, Washington, earlier this year.

Northumbria Police said that after a report that a man matching Melvin’s description had been acting suspiciously in the area, the experienced officer identified him and placed him under arrest.

But Melvin climbed into his van and attempted to throw the constable out of the moving vehicle, before hitting him and throttling him in the street.

Chief Inspector Sam Rennison has hailed the officer’s professionalism and bravery, saying: “Melvin’s disgraceful actions could have easily led to serious and potentially life-changing injuries for the officer involved.

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“The officer was carrying out his duties in a respectful and professional manner, and what followed was totally unacceptable – with the defendant punching, choking and injuring the PC in a desperate bid for freedom.

“There can be no question that PC Finn showed incredible bravery and professionalism despite being subjected to this horrific and unprovoked assault. I would like to place on record my thanks to him for his bravery whilst ensuring a violent criminal was successfully apprehended.

“Our officers come to work each day knowing they could be faced with dangerous situations, and clearly putting public safety before their own is paramount.

“However, when they are faced with such needless levels of violence, it is imperative that those offenders are dealt with robustly.”

Newcastle Crown Court heard a member of the public rang police claiming a man had been acting suspiciously in Barmston Village on the evening of February 13.

Officers were deployed to the scene, and after seeing Melvin wearing a jacket on Waskerley Road which matched the description of the man, the PC began to place him under arrest.

But Melvin, of Wordsworth Avenue East, Houghton-le-Spring, walked over to his van before starting it up and attempting to drive off with the officer hanging out of the vehicle.

He then began to punch and choke the constable, before threatening to “kill” him with an axe which was inside the van.

The PC managed to hold off Melvin and restrain him following assistance from a member of the public.

After being arrested, Melvin denied punching the officer and claimed he reacted aggressively because he “was scared”.

He was charged with assault, obstructing a PC in execution of duty, dangerous driving, no insurance use, driving without licence and possession of a class C drug.

Melvin pleaded guilty to all offences on August 20 and was back in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court on September 13 for sentencing.

A judge sentenced him to a one-year community order, a five-month curfew with electronic monitoring and a drug rehabilitation requirement. Melvin was also ordered to pay £200 compensation.

In a victim impact statement, the PC said: “I do not come into work to get assaulted. I was nothing but polite and civil with Melvin.

“His actions were dangerous and if I was not capable of looking after myself, I have no doubt whatsoever that I would have come to serious harm either by falling out of the van whilst it was moving or from being strangled or even hit with an axe.

“I am an experienced officer having been in the police force for 10 years now, and this is the first time that someone has tried to throw me out of a moving motor vehicle.

“I come to work to help people, not get assaulted.”