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Man jailed for partially blinding police officer in Darwen ammonia attack

|News, Violent crime

A 46-year-old man has today been jailed for 14-and-a-half years for an ammonia attack on police officers who attended a 999 call.

Police were called to a report from a distressed woman at a house on Ash Grove in Darwen on 16 April 2019 where Paul Elliott had barricaded himself inside.

After they forced entry, they announced themselves as police officers and started to climb the stairs. Elliott who was at the top of the stairs sprayed ammonia down at them hitting one officer in the eyes and narrowly missing the others. Three officers suffered burns to their faces and eyes and breathing difficulties. 

Sgt Andrew Gore who was directly hit by the chemicals suffered serious injuries to his eyes, throat and respiratory system. Following complex surgery he is now partially blind.

After the attack Elliot jumped from a first floor window and fractured his ankle in an attempt to evade arrest.

On the day of the trial Elliott pleaded guilty to causing the injuries to the three police officers.

At the time of the offences he was on licence for life for a previous attempted robbery conviction.

Zoe Salter for the CPS said: "Paul Elliott carried out a sickening attack on police officers as they responded to an emergency call out.

"We worked with the police to build a strong case against him which included the initial 999 call and body-worn camera footage, which captured the majority of the 15-minute incident.

"He waited until the very last opportunity; just before the trial was due to start to plead guilty, further adding to the trauma he had already inflicted on his victims.

"The CPS will continue to work with the police to bring to justice anyone who deliberately harm emergency workers as they go about their duties to protect the public they serve."

Notes to editors

  • Zoe Salter is Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West
  • Paul Elliott pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and two counts of applying a corrosive fluid with intent and was sentenced to 14 and a half years in custody with an extended licence of four years.

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