Man avoids jail despite police officer needing metal rods in his leg following an attack in North Shields

A violent North Shields thug has avoided prison after he broke a police officer’s leg in two places on Christmas Eve in 2020.

Paul Luke, of Watervile Road in North Shields, assaulted PC Paul Gillespie on December 24, 2020, after he and a colleague responded to reports of a domestic incident.

The officers attended an address and tried to remove the 38-year-old after he was causing a disturbance.

Luke made several threats towards the officers and as he was being transported into the police van, he used his full body weight to kick PC Gillespie backwards.

This caused him to lose his balance and break his leg in two places.

Paul Luke. Paul Luke.
Paul Luke.

Luke then continued to make threats as PC Gillespie was on the ground in pain and lashed out at the other officer who was present.

Backup arrived at the scene to take Luke into custody and PC Gillespie was transported to hospital.

The extent of his injuries meant that he needed a number of metal rods putting into his leg to help with the healing process.

As a result of the ordeal, he has lasting damage and was absent from work for seven months - the second officers suffered minor injuries during the altercation.

Luke was charged with assault of an emergency worker and causing grievous bodily harm assault with the intent to resist arrest relating to both officers.

He initially denied both offences but then pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court on February 23 this year.

On Thursday, April 20, he was sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for two years at Newcastle’s Moot Hall.

Detective Sergeant Miah, of Northumbria Police, has branded Luke’s actions as “unacceptable”.

He said: “PC Gillespie has suffered life-changing injuries when he responded to an everyday incident where he was just trying to do his job.

“Emergency service responders join their organisations because they want to help keep people safe and protect their communities – they should not be exposed to this type of abuse in return.

“The message is clear – we don’t come to work to be assaulted, and Northumbria Police will do everything in its power to bring those offenders to justice.

“I would also like to commend the bravery of both officers involved who both swiftly returned to work, continuing their commitment to serve our communities.”

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