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​Man sentenced for brandishing knife at police officers

News   •   Mar 12, 2020 06:51 GMT

A man has been sentenced following an incident in which he attempted to harm a police officer with a kitchen knife.

Jason Starkings, 51 (31/10/1968), of Vauxhall was sentenced on Tuesday 10 March at Inner London Crown Court after pleading guilty on 25 October at the same court to affray.

Starkings was given a 22 month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months.

Officers attended a flat on Harleyford Road in Vauxhall at 03:30hrs on 25 June 2019 after a man called police several times reporting a break in.

Control room staff identified this was likely to be a mental health incident and officers attended to check on the welfare of the occupant.

Upon arrival, another man could be heard inside the property pleading for officers to be allowed in. They were refused entry but due to sounds of distress officers forced their way in.

Starkings was holding a large kitchen knife and was clearly in an agitated state. He ran further into the flat and refused to drop the knife despite multiple warnings to do so.

One officer made the right decision to fire his Taser, however it failed. Starkings then stabbed himself in the stomach, causing a large amount of blood.

Starkings charged at the officer, seemingly intending to stab him. The officer retreated back into the hallway and more units were called to assist as they repeatedly told him to drop the knife.

Soon after, officers successfully discharged the Taser and they were able to control him. Despite this, Starkings continued to reach for the knife.

Once detained, officers administered first aid, ultimately saving his life. He was arrested and taken to hospital for treatment where he made a fully recovery.

He was charged with affray on 27 July.

A mandatory investigation by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) concluded that "the officers involved should be commended for their bravery, skill and judgement in dealing with the man."

Detective Sergeant Paul Connelly, who led the subsequent investigation, said: “The reckless actions of Starkings that night clearly placed the officers, who attended to check on his welfare, in significant harm. The officers acted professionally throughout and no doubt saved Starkings' life despite putting themselves at harm. I commend them….

“His hoax calls to police, seemingly intended to lure police to the venue for the sole purpose of causing them harm, show the serious effects of taking drugs.

“Starkings has since made a full recovery but the injuries he caused to himself that night were also serious and could have resulted in a very different outcome for himself.

“It is so important that our officers are equipped to deal with all nature of incidents and have training and plans in place to ensure they can protect themselves and the public from harm. This incident, although distressing, is a solid example of this.

“The officers who attended still feel the effects of what they dealt with that night, yet they continue to come into work and to police London.”