PC tells court he feared death after butcher’s shop knife attack

14:17 30 November 2012

Picture: PA

Picture: PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A police officer told today how a man armed with a knife pinned him to the floor and stabbed him despite being hit over the head with a baton three times.

PC Thomas Harding was one of a number of officers injured by Christopher Haughton after he was cornered in a halal butcher’s shop in Kingsbury, in November last year.

PC Harding, who is in his 20s and had only been a policeman for three years, said he was one of the first to reach Haughton.

He told the Old Bailey: “He was struggling with a member of staff who was trying to force him against a corner.

“I went to him, trying to subdue him. I put my shield up against him and used my baton against his left arm and his leg.

“It had no effect at all. He pushed against me and I ended up on the floor. I struggled to get free.

“My recollection was that Mr Haughton was on top of me, holding me down.

“My shield had fallen on my chest. I had my baton in my right hand. He had his right hand up and was hitting down towards me, very quick, fast blows.

“At this point I realised he had a knife in his hand. He was still coming down towards me.

“My initial thought was that he was trying to kill me. I made three baton strikes to the head. It had no effect.”

It was then that the knife pierced the shield and entered 8in (20.3cm) into his abdomen, perforating his bowel.

The officer had two operations, an HIV test which proved negative, and months of treatment, the court heard.

He was released on bail after the first incident at his girlfriend’s home.

A month later, he attacked officers with a knife at the butcher’s shop.

Haughton was later found to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Pc Alistair Hinchliff said he tried to help his colleague but also fell to the floor.

Haughton slashed him on the left side of the face, injuring his mouth, and stabbed him twice in the arm.

Other officers continued to hit Haughton over the head to try to restrain him.

PC Andrew Robb said he stepped on Haughton’s hand to prevent him using the knife but he got free and made two deep cuts to his knee and leg, causing a 6in (15cm) wound.

He told the court: “I felt two heavy impacts on my leg. I saw a hole in my trousers.

“Then I saw I had a deep wound and I had been stabbed in the leg. A flap of skin lay open and outwards.

“I was quite shocked to see my leg how it was.”

Haughton, 33, of Wembley, denies the attempted murder of four officers and six other charges of assault on their colleagues during two disturbances.

The trial continues.

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