“It is unbelievable that those who seriously assault officers are still not receiving prison sentences”

THE Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation said it was “unbelievable” that a woman who assaulted a Hampshire Police officer and a nurse on Boxing Day last year has been let off with a suspended sentence.

Jamie Tompkins was drunk in Portsmouth on Boxing Day and was picked up by police, at which point she punched PC Benjamin White.

She was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital when an old injury started bleeding. A nurse tried to treat her, but Tompkins leapt over the reception desk, destroyed a computer and assaulted nurse Debbie Johnstone. She threatened to stab another member of hospital staff with “knives and forks”, before she was restrained.

Tompkins appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates Court in February, and was given a 16-week prison sentence suspended for two months for two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, threatening abuse and behaviour with intent to cause violence and criminal damage. She was ordered to pay £400 in compensation, with £100 each to PC White and Ms Johnstone, and £200 to the hospital for the NHS equipment damaged.

Hampshire Police Federation Chairman Alex Charge said the verdict was “unbelievable”. He continued: “This is something we’ve been saying for months and months. It’s all well and good having new legislation around emergency service workers and assaults, but people still don’t get sent to prison when all the opportunities appear to be there to send this person to prison – to give a clear message to the public about what happens when you assault not only a police officer but also a nurse.

“It’s simply unacceptable. The work’s been done, the evidence package is there, the legislation is there that allows people to go to prison, but we have another example of someone who does not go to prison.”

In a victim statement, Ms Johnstone, who has worked at Queen Alexandra Hospital for 16 years, said it was the worst behaviour she had ever seen.

The officer in charge of the case, PC Simon Collins, told magistrates in court: “Tompkins’ behaviour that night was vile towards two members of hospital staff who were simply trying to help her.”




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