A MAN who hit a police officer over the head with a metal pole as she was trying to break up a fight, has been jailed.

Joshua Powell struck Sergeant Victoria Thomson outside the Greyhound bar in Newport city centre after early hours of the morning violence erupted between two groups of men.

Tony Trigg, prosecuting, said the blow to her head was softened when doorman James Hopkins put his arm in the way to protect her.


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Sergeant Thomson needed butterfly stitches for a one inch to one-and-a-half inch wound at the A&E unit of the city’s Royal Gwent Hospital.

Cardiff Crown Court was told that Powell had not meant to hurt the police officer and was aiming to strike the men he and friends were brawling with.

Powell, who had no previous convictions, apologised to Sergeant Thomson after he injured her.

Mr Trigg told the court: “Two female police officers were in a police car and they saw the fight and went to break it up.

“The defendant picked up a metal bollard that is used for crowd control, it was about three foot high.

“He ran towards the other group of males and lifted the pole above his head and brought it down with force.

“It struck Sergeant Thomson on the head. The blow had been aimed at the other three males he was fighting with.

“Fortunately, Mr Hopkins, the doorman, had seen the bollard being lifted and could see it was moving towards the head of the sergeant.

“He instinctively put his arm out to protect the officer and was able to take much of the force out of the blow.”

The court was told that Sergeant Thomson was off work for five days after the assault, and has suffered from headaches and pain around her right eye following the attack.

Powell, aged 30, of South Street, Sebastopol, Pontypool, admitted causing unlawful wounding to Sergeant Thomson and assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Mr Hopkins.

The offences happened at around 1.30am on Saturday January 26 this year.

Rachel Adams, defending Powell, said: “He wishes to apologise to the police officer. This was wholly out of character and something he has no intention of repeating again.

“The defendant has expressed his genuine remorse and is a man of previous good character.”

The judge, Recorder Carl Harrison, jailed Powell for 18 months and ordered him to pay a £140 victim surcharge upon his release from prison.