15 years for Sheffield axeman who left woman Pc with fractured skull and severed finger

A 35-year-old man who attacked a Sheffield policewoman with an axe, leaving her with a fractured skull and a finger hanging off, has been jailed for 15 years.

FILE PICTURE - Nathan Sumner, 35, arrives at Sheffield Magistrates Court under heavy police guard on April 15 2016. A man accused of attempting to murder a Sheffield police officer with an axe will stand trial at Sheffield Crown Court today, October 12, 2016. Sumner, aged 35, of Gleadless Valley, Sheffield, is alleged to have carried out the attack on Pc Lisa Bates on Wednesday, April 13 this year.

Pc Lisa Bates was left with a fractured skull, multiple ankle fractures and had her index finger almost severed following the attack in April.

Nathan Sumner, 36, was cleared of attempted murder but convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the officer, who was attending a disturbance at his flat in Sheffield when the attack took place.

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Lisa Bates

Jailing him at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Julian Goose QC said it was a “sustained attack” on a “defenceless police officer”.

During the trial, the jury heard Sumner, of Plowright Close, accepted attacking Pc Bates as he suffered from a psychotic episode.

The jury heard how Pc Bates and her colleague Pc Mark Garrett were on duty in a marked police vehicle when they were called to Sumner’s maisonette in the Gleadless area of the city by a neighbour.

Pc Bates told the court that Sumner shouted “aggressively” as he answered the door and attacked her colleague, punching him and pinning him against a wall.

Lisa Bates

She then suffered a number of blows from an axe, causing injuries including an 8cm gash on the back of her head.

A member of the public who lived in the same block of flats pulled the officer to safety as Sumner fled to a nearby Co-op store before being arrested, South Yorkshire Police said.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by prosecutor Samuel Green, Pc Bates said: “The events of that day changed my life forever.

“Scarring to my leg and hand acts as a constant reminder of what happened.

“I continue to suffer from dizziness, headaches, nausea, nightmares and flashbacks.

“I am suffering from a loss of earnings and I have had to cancel both my wedding and honeymoon.

“It’s only through luck and good fortune that I survived.

“His attack on us was instant, we had no chance to calm the situation.”

She added the attack has led to a “loss of self confidence in getting to public places”, particularly in Sheffield, her home city.

Sumner was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with an extended sentence of five years, and handed a hospital order.

Mitigating, David Brooke said his client was “profoundly ill at the time”.

He added: “There was remorse and there was remorse from the outset.

“It’s plain to us ... it’s understood what he has done was wrong.”