Case study: Durham - torn knee ligaments and cartilage

Durham Assault James Calvert

Durham PC James Calvert's knee injury

PC James Calvert was punched, kicked, bitten and had the ligaments and cartilage in his knee torn leaving long-term injuries while arresting a drink driver.

The officer initially went to help after discovering the suspect had crashed his vehicle at a roundabout. Then he noticed the young man had dilated pupils, slurred speech and there was a smell of alcohol.

The driver began swinging punches. A few connected before PC Calvert was able pull him onto the car bonnet. During the struggle the young man fell on PC Calvert’s leg causing it to bend inwards at an almost 90 degree angle – the damage caused every ligament and large amounts of cartilage, to be torn.

He eventually managed to detain the young man, but in a last ditch attempt to run, as backup sirens were approaching, the offender bit down on PC Calvert’s hand, refusing to let go until the backup officers made him. "I waited 10 months for clean blood results. I have two little girls at home, and I had to ask questions like 'Do I have Hepatitis?' 'If I kiss them goodnight will I pass something onto them?' That was the hardest part of it all, it was awful," PC Calvert said.

The offender was convicted of drink driving, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer but as the case was dealt with so swiftly the extent of PC Calvert’s injuries were not fully known. He has since had operations that have left him unable to kneel or drive for long periods and he is now on restricted duties.

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