Drink driver is jailed for try­ing to stran­gle po­lice of­fi­cer in street

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

A po­lice of­fi­cer feared for her life when a crazed driver grabbed her by the throat and tried to stran­gle her, a court heard.

PC Cather­ine Rut­ter later told of feel­ing “in­cred­i­bly help­less” as Steven Lam­bkin tight­ened his grip.

An­other of­fi­cer came to her res­cue, punch­ing the drunk 36-year-old builder in the face three times to make him re­lease her.

Maid­stone Crown Court heard PC Rut­ter and PC Alexan­der Guise had stopped Lam­bkin in Ash Tree Lane in Chatham at about 10pm on Oc­to­ber 27 last year be­cause of his er­ratic driv­ing.

It later emerged he had drunk six pints of beer at a so­cial club in Gilling­ham.

The of­fi­cers did not have a breathal­yser kit and had to ra­dio for one. As Lam­bkin got out his door hit the leg of one of the of­fi­cers.

Prose­cu­tor Peter Forbes said PC Guise grabbed 36-yearold Lam­bkin’s arm as it was a busy, poorly lit road and he feared for his safety.

But Lam­bkin re­sisted and started drag­ging the of­fi­cer into the road, telling him: “I might still com­mit sui­cide but I if I am go­ing to die I am tak­ing you with me.”

Both of­fi­cers tried to re­strain him. One of them pressed a panic but­ton to sum­mon help.

Two of­fi­cers used a PAVA spray in Lam­bkin’s eyes with no ap­par­ent ef­fect.

“The de­fen­dant was gain­ing con­trol and PC Rut­ter was on the ground,” said Mr Forbes. “He pro­ceeded to put his hands around her neck.”

She later de­scribed him squeez­ing her neck and grip­ping her “tighter and tighter”. PC Guise punched Lam­bkin to force him to let go as PC Rut­ter coughed and splut­tered.

She said in a state­ment: “While be­ing stran­gled I felt in­cred­i­bly help­less and that this would be my last shift, and I would not sur­vive. I couldn’t be­lieve some­body had de­cided to take my life.”

Lam­bkin, of Churchill Av­enue, Chatham, ad­mit­ted at­tempt­ing to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm and com­mon as­sault.

He was jailed for 15 months.

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