Amaretto bottle attacker left three police officers in hospital during brutal onslaught in South Shields

Rory Kirkup
Rory Kirkup

An attacker who put three police officers in hospital after they stopped to check why he was lying on the ground in the street has been jailed.

Rory Kirkup headbutted a police community support officer and attacked him with an Amaretto bottle when he approached to ask he was alright.

The 35-year-old then targeted a police officer who was getting out of his vehicle and stamped on his legs then kicked him in the face repeatedly, with full force.

Kirkup then punched a woman constable in the face, so hard that her nose broke, covered her in blood and needed surgery to repair.

Newcastle Crown Court heard passers-by who witnessed the "horrific" violence unfold at Station Road in South Shields, were shocked, shaken and in tears because of what they saw.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court the PCSO had been on duty with another police constable, who was unhurt in the incident, carrying our morning "reassurance patrols" around mosques on June 22, when they saw Kirkup lying in the street.

Mr Pallister said; "The officers were simply concerned for the defendant's welfare and wanted only to speak to him.

"It was noticed he was carrying a bottle of Amaretto, a full bottle. The PCSO asked if he was alright."

The court heard Kirkup initially explained that he had a bad back and the officers started to help him up.

Mr Pallister added: "The defendant began protesting, thinking they were intending to confiscate his alcohol. That wasn't the case, they were only concerned about his welfare."

The court heard it was when Kirkup started to swear, and was asked not to in a public place, that he lashed out.

Mr Pallister said: "He headbutted the PCSO in the face, causing instant pain and blood to pour from his nose.

"The defendant stepped towards the officer, holding the bottle of Amaretto in his hand.

"He then swung at him and he was hit by the bottle in the back of the head and ear, causing him to fall to the ground."

The court heard while the injured and dazed PCSO was prone on the ground, Kirkup turned his attention towards officers in a nearby patrol car.

Mr Pallister said it was as the PC who was driving opened the car door to get out, Kirkup used the vehicle's frame and roof to steady himself and lashed out with his feet.

He added: "He proceeded to kick the officer a number of times in the head and stamped on his thigh, causing severe pain.

"The officer described the kicks as being full force kicks."

The court heard as the driver's female colleague tried to stop the attack, Kirkup punched her "hard" in the face, which sent her straight to the ground.

Mr Pallister said: "She describes she was stunned and shocked and momentarily confused by what happened. Her vision blurred.

"She describes bleeding heavily from her nose and immediately realised her nose was clearly broken."

The court heard all three officers were taken to hospital.

The PCSO had concussion and a "golf ball" sized lump on his head. He needed four weeks off work, and time away from a local football team he runs on behalf of a local church.

The female officer needed painful surgery and said her young children should not have to see their mother "bruised and broken" after being out at work.

The male PC was bruised and swollen from being kicked but said he considered himself to be the "fortunate one".

Kirkup, of Dale Street, South Shields, who has a previous conviction for assaulting a police constable in 2000, admitted three charges of assault.

He told detectives he was "sorry" for what he did but could not actually remember his actions.

Mr recorder William Lowe QC sentenced him to 22 months behind bars.

The judge said; "These were horrific offences of assault.

"They involved attack upon police officers and a support officer, who were seeking to reassure people in South Shields on that summer morning in June.

"The effect of these assaults are long lived on the officers.

"There were members of the public who were caused distress. Indeed, one of them spoke of returning to her work place, still crying, so shocked was she."

John Wilkinson, defending, said Kirkup is a "binge drinker" who has college qualifications in personal fitness and is genuinely sorry for what he did.

Mr Wilkinson added: "The reality is, he has no recollection of this incident."