Sunderland man bit police officer's leg while cops remove him from ex's home

A serial offender bit a police officer's leg whilst being removed from his ex's home which he was banned from visiting.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 5:43 pm
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 6:25 pm

Stephen McEvoy claimed he was 'invited' to her address on Thorney Close, Sunderland, but when police arrived at the house following an anonymous call they found the woman 'fearful of being hurt'.

The 49-year-old was already banned from having contact with the woman via a lifelong restraining order, and has multiple past convictions for assaulting her and the police officers serving to protect her.

Prosecutor Neil Jones told Newcastle Crown Court that on arrival, the police found the house in darkness but soon came across the woman inside and McEvoy upstairs, asleep.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Stephen McEvoy

The court heard that despite being initially compliant with the officer, McEvoy's attitude soon changed.

Mr Jones told the court: "The officer handcuffed him for being in breach of the restraining order.

"He allowed the officer to help get him dressed.

"He was asked to calm down and shouted aggressively at the officer, who was taking control of his left arm to control him.

"The police officer was bitten by the defendant on the thigh and a bite mark was caused to the officer which was one inch in diameter.

"Two red marks were clearly visible in the raised skin."

In a victim personal statement, the officer said: "I acknowledge some people don't particularly like the police but I don't accept being assaulted and certainly not bitten.

"I actually assisted him in getting dressed and allowed him some dignity and treated him with respect."

The court heard that McEvoy and the female victim have known each other for 35-years, and have been in a relationship for seven of those.

Mr Jones added: "She described him as being peaceful until the arrival of the police.

"He told her not answer the door to them and said 'If you do, I will burn your house down with you in it.'"

She said in impact statement: "My relationship with Stephen has been violent for so long that I don't now remember what life was like without being scared.

"I used to be a confident person with a good circle of friends - he has made it so I don't have contact with them.

"He tells me I'm ugly and worthless."

The court heard McEvoy, of no fixed abode, was given the restraining order in 2015 after attacking the woman, and has repeatedly offended against her and the police.

He pleaded guilty to breaching the restraining order and assault by beating to an emergency worker.

Alec Burns, mitigating, told the court: "About the breach he would say he was there on her invitation, it wasn't her who called the police it was a neighbour.

"She has been repeatedly writing to him and sending him cards whilst he has been awaiting this sentence."

In relation the bite, Mr Burns said: "He bit the officer because he was twisting the handcuff on his wrist, he knows he shouldn't have done it.

"He is a man in very poor health - he has a heart problem which requires him to have a monitor."

Mr Burns told the court that there is a recent family history of relatives dying with heart problems, and asked the Judge to keep any immediate custodial sentences as short as possible.

Passing down a sentence of two years and four months, Mr Recorder Kealey QC said: "You had for a number of years, in fact almost the entirety of your relationship, assaulted her and breached the order put in place to protect her.

"It is agreed by all the parties this is a very serious breach.

"I take into account your health problems but these offences are repetitive."

A message from the Editor:

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to the Sunderland Echo website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit here to sign up. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.