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Police officer attacked in South Shields after answering plea for help

Alan Pollock.
Alan Pollock.

A construction manager left a policeman on the brink of consciousness during a violent protest about his partner being breath-tested.

Alan Pollock became aggressive when the officer pulled over to carry out the roadside procedure in South Shields and ended up so "out of control" that even CS gas could not calm him.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim was left struggling to breathe, with a cut, swollen and bleeding face and nose after the attack, which a judge said must have been "terrifying".

The court heard Pollock, 39, and his partner had been out for the day last August and started to flag down cars when they got a flat tyre.

A passing police car pulled over and the officer said he wanted to breathalyse Pollock's partner, which prompted him to lash out violently.

Pollock admitted assault with intent to resist arrest.

Judge Tim Gittins told him: "You became increasingly aggressive and eventually you lost control and began struggling with the officer.

"You lashed out at him, punched him several times to the face.

"Such was your violence he had no option but to discharge CS gas upon you but you were so out of control that had no effect upon you.

"You, being a large man, were able to take the officer to the ground and effectively pin him by your elbow across his throat until he was close to unconsciousness.

"It must have been terrifying for the officer, left struggling for breath."

Judge Gittins sentenced Pollock to five months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with £500 compensation, 150 hours unpaid work and a three month night-time curfew.

The judge warned him: "The courts must and will protect officers in the line of their duty from completely unprovoked and unnecessary violence."

The court heard Pollock is employed as site supervisor in the construction industry and handed in a reference to his ordinarily "exemplary" behaviour, positive character and ability to cope with pressure.

The court heard Pollock, Maple Avenue, Whitley Bay, accepts his behaviour was "totally wrong" and was immediately apologetic and remorseful when sober.