Sheffield police woman's '˜axe attacker' to face psychiatrists

A MAN accused of attempting to murder a Sheffield police woman with an axe will be assessed by psychiatrists next week to determine to his fitness to plead, a court has heard.

Nathan Sumner, 35, arrives at Sheffield Magistrates' Court under heavy police guard. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Nathan Sumner appeared via video link from Wakefield Prison for a brief hearing at Sheffield Crown Court.

Sumner, 35, of Gleadless Valley, Sheffield, is charged with the attempted murder of Pc Lisa Bates last month, as well as six counts of assault by beating, assault, making threats to kill, affray, threatening behaviour and production of cannabis.

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His lawyer, David Brooke, said: “He is going to be assessed by psychiatrists by next Tuesday.”

Mr Brooke said he would be sent a medical report addressing the defendant’s fitness to make pleas, and hoped a trial “will be avoided”.

Mr Brooke said: “I have not really been given full instructions. His state is still very agitated.”

Sumner is alleged to have assaulted two police officers on Plowright Close in Gleadless Valley and another three at the Co-op in nearby Blackstock Road.

Pc Bates was one of two officers attacked after being called to a report of a “domestic incident” in a flat in Plowright Close at around 7.50pm.

Samuel Green, prosecuting, said a shorter new indictment is to be prepared reduced to two counts - one of attempted murder and an alternative of Section 18 assault.

He said: “The behaviour referenced in the other counts will all go in as evidence as context in any event.”

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Julian Goose QC, told Sumner he would be required to enter his pleas at the next hearing, on August 12.

Sumner was remanded in custody.