A police officer thought he was going to die after a teenage boy went into a frenzy and started stabbing him, a court heard today.
PC Joshua Johnson had been called with a colleague to the 16-year-old boy’s home in Hove after his family dialled 999 to say he had a knife and was self-harming.
When they arrived, the boy came to the door with the six-inch knife in his hand – but when PC Johnson sprayed him with captor spray, instead of dropping the knife, he “had a rage” and came at the officer, jabbing at him several times before stabbing him in the arm.
PC Johnson was then able to grab the boy’s wrist, and his colleague grabbed him from behind, bringing the attack to an end.
Today, the boy, who is now 17 and cannot be named for legal reasons, was detained indefinitely at the mental hospital where he is already being treated. Psychiatric reports said he was not capable of having formulated the intent to wound PC Johnson.
In witness and victim impact statements read out in court, PC Johnson, who had only been a police officer for about six months when the attack happened in June last year, said: “It was like the boy was possessed. It was like a raging monster had been released and was trying to kill me…
“This is hands down the most terrifying experience of my life because I thought I was going to die. I can still see the boy coming at me and the anger in his eyes.
“I felt pure terror and it has made me question why I do the job I do.
“My colleague has had a breakdown since the incident and I worry whether he will be able to recover.
“I’m still in shock. I really thought the spray would work. In training, it always made the suspect drop the knife, but in real life, the suspect didn’t. I will always be scared of this now. It is going to be difficult working, knocking on doors. It’s going to take some time to build my trust.”
District Judge Tessa Szagun told the boy, who appeared by videolink: “I am sure, based on PC Johnson’s evidence, that he was stabbed in the arm with a knife by you on this occasion.
“I do consider that you are suffering from a mental disorder that will make it possible for me to make the hospital order that the consultants say I should make and that there is a bed still available for you so you will stay there until such time as your case is reviewed and you are considered to be well enough and in a state where you can be released back into the community with your parents.
“Both you and I have noted how terrified he was, how scared he would die in this moment.
“He had only been an officer for a really short time and I think this was a really difficult situation for that officer to deal with and I want him to know that I think he was very brave and that he dealt with this situation in the very best way that he could have in that moment.”