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'Appalling' record of Bodmin's teenage attacker Ethan Campbell

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 15, 2014

APPALLING RECORD: Bodmin teenager Ethan Campbell.

A BODMIN teenager with an "appalling" criminal record has been sent to a Young Offenders' Institution for six months after his latest attack on a police officer last week.

Ethan Campbell hit a good Samaritan repeatedly on Honey Street when the man tried to help after seeing Campbell being aggressive to a woman.

As police arrested him he then kneed PC Laura Barnden twice in the groin.

Bodmin magistrates were told the 18-year-old had 17 previous convictions for 28 offences including two assaults on police last year.

Campbell had even spent his 18th birthday in youth detention after being sentenced to a detention and training order for assaulting a man causing him actual bodily harm outside Wetherspoons in Bodmin in January 2013.

Chairman of the bench David Stevens told Campbell: "You have an appalling record for a young man of only 18.

"You assaulted a woman police officer doing her duty in a public place and a man as a result of him stopping to assist a young lady."

Campbell, of Wallace Road, pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Barnden and Jachin Gillespie as well as possession of 2.59g of cannabis.

Laura Searle, for the prosecution, said that Mr Gillespie had been driving through Bodmin at around 8.45pm on Tuesday when he saw Campbell being aggressive towards a female.

Concerned for her welfare, Mr Gillespie stopped and got out of his car. But Campbell swore at him to go away, grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him down, hitting him in the chest and head, and head-butting him.

Mr Gillespie suffered a bruised and swollen eye, and a swollen lip.

Police were called and as they arrested Campbell and handcuffed him he struggled violently.

He spat in PC Barnden's face, pushed her into a window and struck her twice in the groin with his knee.

PC Barnden said later that it was the most aggression and violence she had faced in her eight years as an officer.

The court was told that the cannabis had been found during a police search at Campbell's home on November 2. He admitted it was his and for personal use.

Emma Doble, for the defence, said that Campbell could recall very little of what had happened on January 7 due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed. He was, however, very remorseful, and had written a letter of apology to PC Barnden.

Following his release from the detention and training order, he felt he had received very little support. He wanted to be given the opportunity to address his alcohol issues and work with probation.

Ms Doble urged the magistrates not to send him into custody, saying it would start "a vicious circle very early in his life".

A letter from Campbell, who was supported by family and friends in court, was handed to the magistrates.

The magistrates sentenced Campbell after considering a probation officer's pre-sentence report in which she said he was remorseful and willing to comply with any community penalty but had been described as paying only "lip service" to past intervention by the Youth Offending Service.

Bodmin's acting police inspector, Pete Thomas, said later that Campbell had an appalling record.

"Any offence of violence will be dealt with severely, and reducing acts of violence is a main priority for the police in east Cornwall," said the officer.

"Campbell was a repeat offender and had been subject to a violent offending management plan, and had been warned about his behaviour.

"Hopefully his 180-day sentence will serve as a lesson."

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