Ipswich: Police officer relives attack after thug jailed for a year

Sgt John Hawkes after the assault by Imdad Hadi

Sgt John Hawkes after the assault by Imdad Hadi - Credit: Contributed

Sergeant John Hawkes’s bloodied face vividly illustrates the thuggery which led to an Ipswich man being jailed.

Imdad Hadi

Imdad Hadi - Credit: Contributed

Bloody but unbowed, Sgt Hawkes described Imdad Hadi’s actions as “desperately silly” after he was imprisoned for 12 months for the attack.

Sgt John Hawkes shows the damage caused by Hadi

Sgt John Hawkes shows the damage caused by Hadi - Credit: Contributed

The 48-year-old officer said Hadi would never have been arrested if only he had remained calm and followed the instructions he had been given after he was questioned by police.

Instead, without provocation or warning, Hadi launched his head at Sgt Hawkes’ face and butted him in the mouth.

Despite a gash on the inside of his lip which required eight stitches, Sgt Hawkes wrestled Hadi to the ground where his colleague Pc Katie Leckie helped to subdue him using Pava spray.


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The assault occurred after the officers approached a car in Sir Alf Ramsey Way, Ipswich, following a call about a suspected drink-driver.

When they arrived Hadi, who appeared drunk, was in the passenger seat of a car. The driver had left the vehicle, but was then seen returning.

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Sgt Hawkes said: “The other chap was walking down the road and Hadi wanted to go and speak to him. I said no.

“I had asked him to stay with me and put my hands up.

“The next thing was his head came back and he’s whacked me in the face.

“He had been difficult, but there had been no threat of violence and that is what caught me cold.

“Pc Leckie and I grappled him to the ground.

“The irony of it is this other chap confirmed he was the driver and there would have been no case to answer.

“It was desperately silly of Hadi with the benefit of hindsight.

“The assault was undeserved and cowardly. We hadn’t treated him with anything but respect.”

Sgt Hawkes said Hadi denied the attack claiming the butt was accidental after the officers had been pressuring him.

However, he was found guilty following a trial.

Sgt Hawkes said: “I thank the jury for believing us and not him.

“I believe the sentence sends out a strong message and will hopefully act as a sufficient deterrent for anybody contemplating an attack on, not only a police officer, but anyone in the emergency services.”

The officer said despite his injuries he returned to work for his next shift.

“I thought I might as well go in otherwise he would have had a victory. I would have been beaten and off work, but my attitude was that wasn’t going to happen.”

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