Case study: Metropolitan - savagely bitten

PC Nigel Goodenough

PC Nigel Goodenough from the Metropolitan Police

Heathrow Airport based PC Nigel Goodenough was savagely bitten after he approached a woman who was sleeping rough in the terminal.

She became very aggressive and as the officer attempted to restrain her, she lunged forward and bit his leg as hard as she could. PC Goodenough, who has been punched and kicked many times in his 16-year career, said the bite was a first, “It’s not something you can prepare for,” he said.

The woman refused to give a blood sample to rule out the risk that she may have a communicable disease so the officer was put on a course of anti-viral drugs for 28 days that made him violently ill.

PC Goodenough said: “I felt so awful taking the drugs that I literally don’t know how I would have managed to take them for the full 28-day course had she not consented to giving a sample eventually - which meant I could stop taking them after four days. It could have meant missing six weeks of work.

“It also had a very bad effect on my wife living with the unknown during that period and seeing what effects the drugs were having on me.”

PC Goodenough thinks the law needs to be changed so that people who bite or spit at officers are required to give a blood sample if infection is suspected.

The National AIDS Trust provides guidance for police forces on HIV as well as general information on HIV and AIDS.

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