Punched, kicked and bitten, but officer still catches Muswell Hill thief

A MUSWELL Hill man has avoided jail following a prolonged attack on a police officer who suspected him of stealing from a car.

Marlan Davis, 33, of Springfield Avenue, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and theft from a motor vehicle at Wood Green Crown Court.

Davis was spotted by a patrolling officer on August 5 last year, crouched in a driveway in Long Lane, Finchley, apparently tampering with a parked car.

When police approached him, Davis ran off and was found hiding in a bush by PC John Hine, who had chased him. But when the officer tried to arrest him there was a struggle and he escaped.

PC Hine continued the chase until Davis turned around and punched him in the face. He was momentarily knocked out and came to on the ground to find Davis kicking him.

Despite this, the Barnet policeman got to his feet and gave chase again, before Davis put his hand in his pocket and shouted at PC Hine: “I’ll stab you”.

When Davis again ran, PC Hine followed, before being struck over the head with a recycling box. The policeman used his CS spray but to no end and as the officer moved to arrest him, the thief bit him.

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A stolen Sat Nav was found in the bush where Davis has been hiding. It had been stolen earlier from a parked car in Leslie Road, East Finchley.

Davis claimed in an interview that he had bought the sat nav at a pub and had used the recycling box to create a ‘safety gap’ between him and the officer.

At Wood Green Crown Court last week, Davis was given six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, is required to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay �500 in compensation to PC Hine plus �500 in costs.

PC Hine said: “As they were putting me in the ambulance I asked my colleagues to check his fingerprints, because I thought he must have been wanted for something really serious, the way he fought to escape.

“This was the worst violence I have encountered in nine years of policing. There was at least 10 minutes of intense struggle to arrest this man. I have never been more exhausted but getting him convicted makes it seem worthwhile.

“I was just determined that he would not get away, I have never lost a prisoner and I did not want to start now. I still carry the scar of his bite on my arm and it does make me more aware of what can go wrong, but it will not change the way I carry out my duties.”

Superintendent Neil Seabridge commended PC Hine, adding: “When I hear of the professionalism and dedication to duty of officers like PC Hine it makes me very proud. We are lucky to have officers who are totally committed to making Barnet borough safe through tackling criminality.

“I think our residents can take heart that they have officers with such courage and determination patrolling their streets.”