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