Police officer bitten by enraged man in rumpus at Bulwell house

NEWS from Nottingham Magistrates' Court.
NEWS from Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

A disturbance at a house in Bulwell led to an enraged man with a personality disorder biting a police officer, a court heard.

In handing 39-year-old Ashley Marlow a suspended prison-sentence, Deputy District Judge David Noble told him: “You have an appalling history of assaulting police officers.

“There is something about the uniform that makes you see red.”

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the police were called to Marlow’s home at Woodley Square, Bulwell Hall Estate on Wednesday, October 21 last year.

After knocking on the front door, they were confronted by Marlow leaning out of the front bedroom window and shouting: “You come in here and I will take you all! I will kill you!” He then slammed the window shut.

David Miles, prosecuting, said: “A female came to the front and told the officers: He’s got the children upstairs.

“Eventually, the officers forced their way in to the house and followed Marlow through the kitchen and out into the back garden.

“He was agitated and volatile and said to one of the officers: come on then, big lad!”

As attempts were made to restrain him, Marlow swung a punch that struck PC Mark Szeremeta on the back of the head.

“He then bit PC Szeremeta on the left shoulder,” Mr Miles continued. “The officer was held against a fence with little room for manoeuvre. But he could feel Marlow’s teeth in his shoulder.

“As the other officers tried to make him let go, he fell to the floor and was arrested.”

Marlow pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Szeremeta in the execution of his duty. Photos were shown to the court of how Marlow’s bite had penetrated the officer’s uniform and made considerable marks on his shoulder.

Because of the severity of the bite, Mr Noble said his immediate reaction was to impose a custodial sentence on the defendant, particularly as he had been convicted for a previous assault on a police officer in October 2014.

However, the deputy district judge reconsidered after reading a psychiatric report on Marlow, as well as a pre-sentence report by the probation service.

“It appears he is not mentally ill, but has a personality disorder,” said Mr Noble.

“This disorder was exacerbated by the pressures he was experiencing in his personal life.”

The court heard that, at the time of the offence, Marlow was having difficulties in his relationships, particularly with his mother who was living with him for two months. But since receiving help from psychiatric doctors, “his mood had stabilised”.

“He has been engaging voluntarily with a doctor and is receiving therapeutic, one-to-one sessions once a week,” said Victoria Clayton, defending.

“Since the offence, he has also stopped using alcohol, which he was drinking to a high level at the time. The change in him has been quite dramatic.”

Marlow was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was ordered to undertake mental health treatment and rehabilitation activity, and told to pay compensation of £150 to PC Szeremeta, plus court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £80.