Po­lice had to taser axe man 3 times

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page - JON MACPHER­SON jon.macpher­son@men-news.co.uk @JonMacMEN

AWANTED man who charged at po­lice of­fi­cers with an axe af­ter warn­ing he was go­ing to chop them up has been jailed.

James Crop­per had to be tasered THREE times af­ter bran­dish­ing the ‘sharp­ened’ axe over his head on Newchurch Road in Rawten­stall.

Burn­ley Crown Court heard how the fa­ther-oftwo was ini­tially spot­ted by po­lice in Water­foot on June 1 this year who knew that he was wanted for ‘un­re­lated mat­ters’.

Daniel Prowse, pros­e­cut­ing, told the court that when an of­fi­cer fol­lowed the 33-year-old into a Co-op store and told him he was wanted for ar­rest Crop­per shouted ‘ You’re not f****** ar­rest­ing me. Get the f*** away from me’.

The de­fen­dant then fled up an al­ley­way be­fore get­ting into a stolen car.

Mr Prowse said po­lice fol­lowed the car a short dis­tance un­til ‘a num­ber of peo­ple’ in­clud­ing Crop­per got out of it. When of­fi­cers again ap­proached Crop­per and told him he was wanted for ar­rest he ‘ pulled an axe with a red and black han­dle’ from his trouser waist­band.

The court heard how the axe was be­tween 30cm and 45cm long and ‘ap­peared to have been sharp­ened be­cause the of­fi­cer could see the sil­ver edge of the blade’.

When a taser-trained of­fi­cer told Crop­per to ‘stay where he was’ he then ran to­wards him with the axe above his head shout­ing ‘I’m go­ing to chop you up’.

Mr Prowse told the court: “Be­liev­ing that his per­sonal safety was at risk the of­fi­cer then chose to de­ploy his taser and tasered the de­fen­dant on three oc­ca­sions.

“As a re­sult of be­ing tasered he fell to the ground and was in­jured in the process. He con­tin­ued to make threats upon com­ing round say­ing ‘ You bet­ter get back, I’m go­ing to kill you’.”

The court heard that when Crop­per was be­ing trans­ferred from the po­lice van into cus­tody he ‘be­came ag­gres­sive and an­gry and spat in the face of a po­lice of­fi­cer’.

Crop­per, of Hollands Close, Rawten­stall, pleaded guilty to af­fray, hav­ing an axe in a pub­lic place and com­mon as­sault. He was jailed for 15 months. Judge Jonathan Gib­son said Crop­per had a ‘poor record for of­fend­ing’ and ‘par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to the po­lice and as­saults upon po­lice’.

He said the axe was a ‘fear­some look­ing weapon’ and that any­thing other than im­me­di­ate cus­tody would ‘send out en­tirely the wrong mes­sage’.

●● James Crop­per pleaded guilty to af­fray

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