Case study: West Yorkshire - kicked in the face

PC Laura Gargett was kicked in the face on Christmas Day and left with two black eyes and a swollen nose.

The West Yorkshire officer was called to a domestic incident where a female victim had been head-butted by another woman who had also attempted to gouge her eyes. The suspect was known to police as a “handful” and had warning markers for violence. As she was being led away in cuffs she started to violently resist.

PC Gargett, an officer of nine years, explains: “We ended up on the ground in a grassy area trying to pin her to the floor. She tried to bite my inner thigh and as I moved away this foot came at high velocity straight into my face with such force that I went backwards. I tried to get up but I couldn’t physically move – my body was like a lead weight. I was bleeding profusely and kept thinking I hope she hasn’t caused any lasting damage to my face.”

When her children saw their mother on Boxing Day they were horrified and upset.

She adds: “When I go to work now they say ‘please don’t die mum’. It does knock your confdence but I’m paid to go into dangerous situations and have to rise above my fear or else the fear wins – I’m not prepared for that to happen.”

PC Gargett says officers are working “smarter, better and with less” but need to be backed up by the courts with tougher sentencing to cause those who would attack emergency services workers to think again.

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