Man who punched officer in jaw is jailed for 18 months

Chaz Thacker was sentenced to 18 months at Ipswich Crown Court

Chaz Thacker was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday - Credit: Suffolk police

A man who punched a police officer in the jaw after being found inside a tent that did not belong to him has been jailed. 

Chaz Thacker, 28, was discovered inside a tent near Appledores Farm in Tostock, near Bury St Edmunds, on August 15 last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

The tent is sometimes used for farm workers, and an employee of the farm thought he smelled burning around 4.45pm and went to investigate, David Wilson, prosecuting, said. 

The employee noticed the bottom of the tent was undone after going inside, he saw Thacker lying in the tent with an axe next to him. 

The police were called and the employee saw that Thacker was holding a pen knife, which had been found in the tent, and a bottle of rum. 

Thacker, who was described as being "not entirely with it", was asked to put the knife and the bottle of rum down, which he did, before leaving the scene. 

The employee had noticed a hole in the outside of the tent, which he presumed had been done with the axe. 

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The police arrived and found Thacker nearby and when officers tried to engage with him, he continued to walk away, the court heard. 

Police tried to engage again and Thacker then struck an officer to the jaw. The officer required three stitches for a wound to his bottom lip and also suffered a cut to his upper lip. 

Thacker, of Bury Road, Cockfield, was arrested and was found to have a 3-inch lock knife. 

Lynne Shirley, mitigating, said Thacker had mental health difficulties and was a person "who needs help". 

Thacker, who has a number of previous convictions, was charged with assault occasioning  actual bodily harm, possession of a knife and burglary. 

He previously pleaded guilty to all offences. 

Jailing Thacker on Wednesday, Judge Emma Peters said she accepted he had mental health difficulties and added: "I very much hope you get the support and help that you need."

Thacker was jailed for a total of 18 months and will have to serve half in custody.