A man who attacked a police officer, leaving her with a severe head injury, has been jailed.
Adrian Taylor, 52, of Terrace Road, St Leonards, was jailed for three years following a hearing at Hove Crown Court.
On July 5 last year PC Jo Seabridge attended The Ridge in St Leonards to a report of a man acting strangely near a parked car.
Police said he was not described as aggressive but suspiciously touching a car parked in the car park.
PC Seabridge attended on her own and spoke to Taylor, encouraging him to catch the bus home.
After updating the member of the public who had raised their concern, the officer drove along the road to check the man had indeed headed for the bus stop. She saw he was walking back towards the Conquest Hospital along The Ridge and so stopped to speak to him again.
He was drunk and began shouting abuse at her and PC Seabridge took hold of him and arrested him for being drunk and disorderly.
Taylor then began to resist arrest. He elbowed PC Seabridge before hitting her on the head, knocking her to the ground and punching her repeatedly to the head.
He knocked her unconscious at one point with repeated blows. Two members of the public came to her aid and managed to pull Taylor off her and she was able to arrest him after she came to.
Following the assault PC Seabridge was diagnosed with concussion but as her symptoms continued she returned to the hospital to be diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. She was signed off work to recover for four months and has only returned on light duties.
She said: “My head injury has been a big problem for me as I have headaches and short term memory loss and it’s made it difficult to do my job. It’s been hard to come back and just be in the office, I don’t feel like I’m doing my job properly.
“I know some people say this is just part of the job of being a police officer but it’s not. He didn’t just resist arrest but punched me until I was unconscious.
“This was investigated thoroughly, regardless of who the victim was, but it sends a positive message that Sussex Police will not tolerate serious assaults on their officers.”
Two members of the public have been given Chief Constable’s commendations for their bravery in helping PC Seabridge.
She added: “I would personally like to thank them for helping me, I dread to think to might have happened if they hadn’t pulled him off me.”
“I would personally like to thank the two men who came to my aid as I am truly grateful for their actions on that morning. Without their intervention, my injuries would have been far worse.”
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