Eight police officers had petrol poured over them in Essex in a horrific scene of humanity at its worst.
AFTER being doused with petrol by a 28-year-old man, onlookers at the scene yelled “Light them up” in an disturbing event captured in an episode of the BBC documentary, Critical Incident, which aired on Monday night.
The shocking incident, which happened in May last year, occurred after a car chase resulted in a driver being arrested close to the Somercotes estate in Basildon.
It was in the Basildon estate that the officers were set upon by its residents with one woman threatening the officers with a hammer before the man, Justin Jackson, doused the police officers with petrol.
Speaking on the programme, Chief Inspector Jonathan Baldwin, explained, “One match, one lighter, one spark could result in us going up in flames and being disfigured for life or possibly even dead.”
Jackson was jailed for three years and nine months was his petrol attack, which left two officers in hospital.
The driver of the car that sparked the car chase, arrest and subsequent events was a 17-year-old, who was also fined for dangerous driving and was disqualified for 12 months.
Several people were arrested for their involvement in the incident with 47-year-old Janine Justin, who wielded the hammer, being found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon.
She was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
Twenty-year-old Shannon Jackson was also charged, however, her case for obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty was later dismissed.
Speaking about the event, PC Andrew Bird described seeing a man appear from an alleyway who began sprinting towards the team as they made their arrest.
He said he intercepted the man and collapsed to the ground: “I was pretty much at the bottom of the pile. You’ve got officers trying to get him off of me. He had his arms wrapped round my legs trying to keep hold of me.
“It was as I was trying to control this gentleman who had run out of the middle of nowhere that this other chap has appeared with a watering can.
“The officers didn’t know what was in watering can at first, but feared it could be acid.”
The horrific event, which included hideous taunting from the crowd, still gives PC Bird flashbacks when he drives past the estate.
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