A man who attacked and injured a police officer and hit a police dog with a wooden block embedded with a nail after being challenged for travelling without good reason has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Officers working for British Transport Police stopped Nelson Nelson, aged 29, of Stonnall Road, Aldridge in the West Midlands, close to Nottingham train station on Saturday 4 April.
When they asked him why he was travelling amid the current Coronavirus lock down, he assaulted the officers, leaving one with head injuries so severe he needed hospital treatment.
Nottinghamshire Police officers who came to assist were also attacked by Nelson as his violence continued.
Police Dog Quantum (pictured) was also injured as he went to tackle him. He sustained a cut to his chin after Nelson armed himself with a plank of wood with a nail embedded in it.
This is the same Nottinghamshire Police dog – a four-year old Belgian Malinois-German Shepherd cross – which two years ago only just survived being stabbed by an offender.
A flick knife was also recovered during the incident.
Nelson pleaded guilty to two counts of actual bodily harm, assault with intent to resist arrest, assault of an emergency worker, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of a bladed article and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal during a hearing at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday 6 April 2020.
Magistrates sent the case to Nottingham Crown Court as they felt they had insufficient sentencing powers to reflect the seriousness of the offence. Nelson was sentenced to four years in prison at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday 27 April.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford from Nottinghamshire Police said: “This is a particularly nasty case where officers who are working hard to engage with the public to ensure that ‘stay at home’ guidance is being followed have been subjected to a vicious and sustained assault.
“The officers acted swiftly, bravely and decisively in assisting their British Transport Police colleagues and I’m convinced PD Quantum prevented further serious injury to them or the public.
“Our officers, staff and volunteers will not hesitate to jump to the defence of their fellow keyworkers who are working so hard to lead the nation’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak – and this case is further evidence of that.
“The speed and severity that this case has been dealt with by all those involved – including British Transport Police, Nottinghamshire Police and the courts – sends a very clear message to anyone who commits offences in our county that they can expect to be dealt with appropriately, and swiftly, regardless of the situation that the nation currently finds itself in.
Chief Inspector Gareth Davies from British Transport Police said: “This was a truly horrifying incident which involved a sustained attack on multiple officers and a police dog, all just trying to do their jobs.
“There is never an excuse for this sort of behaviour, but it’s all the more shocking to think this violent rampage began after Nelson was simply asked if his journey was essential.
“Thankfully, no one was more seriously injured, and Nelson will now have the next few years to reflect on his actions in prison.
“Let me be absolutely clear, we simply will not tolerate aggression or violence towards police officers and we will do everything in our power to ensure offenders like Nelson are brought before the courts to face justice, like he has today.”