Gunman jailed for violent attack on brave traffic cop
A gunman who violently assaulted one of our officers − dragging him into a brook and holding his head under water − has been jailed for almost 10 years.
Calvert Batchelor was pulled over as part of a traffic operation in Walsall on 17 July last year after officers spotted his VW Golf was missing a number plate.
But he bolted from the Bescott Retail Centre car-park moments before cops found a loaded handgun in the driver’s side door pocket.
Batchelor, from Alma Street in Newtown, ran down a brook and into a closed tunnel − and then turned on pursuing PC Paul Newman on realising he’d reached a dead-end.
The 37-year-old lunged at the brave officer, gouging at his eyes and grabbing inside his mouth with such force that he punctured a hole under his tongue.
During the struggle both men fell into the brook where Batchelor forced PC Newman’s head under water. The traffic officer − who has worked with West Midlands Police for 20 years − later told how he feared for his life.
PC Newman and a colleague eventually managed to detain Batchelor and handcuff him on the banks of the brook.
Ballistics experts examined the gun and discovered it was a Glock-style blank-firing pistol which had been illegally modified to fire live rounds.
Batchelor admitted possessing an illegal firearm and ammunition, plus wounding, and at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Tuesday (28 Jan) he was jailed for nine years and four months.
PC Newman is continuing his recovery from the attack and has not returned to policing since.
Chief Inspector Rachel Joyce from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), said: “This was a grotesque, violent attack on a brave police officer. PC Newman suffered nasty facial injuries and is still managing the long term psychological impact of being involved in such a traumatic incident.
“Attacks like this are totally unacceptable and we will always push for the toughest possible penalty against anyone who abuses our staff.
“I’m glad the courts have recognised the severity of this incident and handed Batchelor a long jail term. We all wish Paul the very best in his continued recovery and hope to welcome him back to the police family when he is ready."