South Shields man who spent three months in coma put policewoman in choke hold when she tried to arrest him

A South Shields man who spent three months in a coma put a policewoman in a choke hold when she tried to arrest him after his recovery.

By Gareth Crickmer
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 4:55 am

Gary Biggins’ attack left her gasping for breath and with minor injuries – and having to press her personal panic alarm.

Biggins, 40, of Dean Road, attacked after first politely letting a team of officers into his home on Saturday, February 12.

But his mood turned sour when the WPC told him he was being arrested for a suspected crime, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Prosecutor Sarah Malkinson said: “At 9am, officers attended an address to arrest the defendant for an unrelated matter.

“They were permitted entry by the defendant. The officer said that he was under arrest and attempted to place him in handcuffs.

“He said, ‘I’m not, like’, and folded his arms. He then placed her into a choke hold, where she states that she was struggling for breath.

“She managed to break free and pressed her panic button, and other officers came.”

After Biggins was restrained, he was found in possession of three blister packs of prohibited class B anxiety treatment drug Pregablin.

He pleaded guilty to common assault of an emergency worker and possession of drugs.

The court was told he has 32 previous convictions from 77 offences but none for violence, and no charges followed the initial matter.

In a victim statement read to the court, the officer said the attack had left her in discomfort, with reddening to her throat.

She also had soreness to her neck and a rash at the top of her spine caused by Biggins’ grab.

Tom Iceton, defending, revealed Biggins had spent three months in a coma for a reason which was not disclosed.

He said his client self-medicated on Pregablin after his treatment from medics ended, and he is also a schizophrenic.

Mr Iceton added: “On the day in question a number of police officers came into the house on matters that he knew nothing about.

“He says that he was panicking, which is part and parcel of the drugs and schizophrenia.”

Magistrates adjourned the case for reports and granted Biggins unconditional bail to be sentenced at the same court on Monday, April 25.