A Sussex Police officer has been left with severe injuries, including a broken eye socket and broken nose, after being assaulted by a man while attempting to stop a fight in Brighton. The attacker approached Sgt Alec Barrett from behind and delivered a running punch to his face, before punching him several more times while he was on the ground. Sgt Barrett was taken to the hospital, where he was found to have concussion, a broken eye socket, a broken nose, and damage to his cheek.
Despite the severity of the attack, the perpetrator, Jonathan Beauchamp, was given a suspended sentence of one year and a five-month curfew. He was also ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,000 in compensation. The sentence has been criticized by the Sussex Police Federation, which has called for stronger deterrence against violent crime.
Sgt Raffaele Cioffi, Deputy Secretary of the Sussex Police Federation, stated that the sentence was too lenient for a violent criminal whose attack left a police officer with serious injuries. He emphasized that custodial sentences are the strongest deterrent against such attacks, and called for action in the courts to protect the protectors.
Last year, there were over 41,000 assaults on police officers in England and Wales, with more than 1,300 officers in Sussex being assaulted. The Federation is calling for a change in the sentencing guidelines for violent crime and urging the government to take a strong stance against such offenses.
Sgt Barrett expressed his appreciation for the support he has received following the attack, which has left him apprehensive about returning to work. The attack serves as a reminder of the dangers faced by police officers in the line of duty and the need for stronger protections against violent crime.