Body-worn video footage played in court shows officers attempting to detain Matthew Wagstaff before a ‘scuffle’ in Privett Road, Gosport.
Now the woman who represents rank-and-file officers in Hampshire says it is ‘very disappointing’ that he has yet again not been jailed for assaulting an officer.
The 31-year-old disqualified driver, currently of Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, had been spotted in his former partner’s blue Vauxhall Zafira after taking it from her driveway.
During the incident at 3.50pm on 16th September this year, he tried to flee in the car and then on foot – before assaulting PC Andrew Holmes.
A second PC then deployed a Taser – which initially failed to connect. He was taken to the ground after a second Taser shot connected.
Wagstaff was previously spared jail in April for hospitalising another officer with a colleague’s baton while garden-hopping (pictured).
At Portsmouth Crown Court he was again spared prison after a judge heard he had come off an opioid substitute, crack cocaine, at the time, and his unborn child was facing serious medical complications.
Hampshire Police Federation chair Zoe Wakefield represents rank-and-file officers and said the sentence was ‘extremely disappointing’.
She told Spotted Portsmouth, “There’s no excuse for assaulting a police officer or another emergency worker and it’s very disappointing that it’s not only the first time but the second time that he hasn’t received a custodial sentence.
“Where’s the deterrent for him, and where’s the recognition from the court that police officers are a valued member of the community that don’t deserve to be assaulted when they’re just doing their job.
“It’s unfortunately not surprising but extremely disappointing.’
Wagstaff has five convictions for 12 offences, including assaulting police, actual bodily harm, battery, criminal damage and driving offrnces.
Recorder Adam Feest QC said it would be ‘unjust in all the circumstances’ to jail Wagstaff.
But addressing Wagstaff, he added, “It’s about as close-run thing as it’s possible to get. This is very much your last chance.”
The previous suspended sentence will now last two years, and Wagstaff must complete an 18-month community order with six-month drug rehabilitation requirement.
Wagstaff was further banned from driving for 18 months.
He admitted assaulting an emergency worker, driving without a licence or insurance and taking a vehicle without consent.
Daniel Reilly, mitigating, had told the court when the incident happened it was the ‘first time he had been drug-free for 14 years’.