Jury finds man did cause grievous bodily harm with intent after stabbing a police officer in the neck in Southampton
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A jury has found a man did stab a police officer in Southampton following a trial of issue.
Timothy Walsh, aged 51, of Portswood Road, Southampton, has today (Friday 23 April) been found to have done the act of stabbing a police officer following a five day trial of issue, at Winchester Crown Court.
This was a trial of issue because Timothy Walsh was deemed unfit to stand trial, therefore the jury were asked to determine what happened, rather than his guilt.
The court heard that officers were deployed to check on the welfare of Timothy Walsh living at an address on Portswood Road, Southampton just after midday on Thursday 15 October, 2020.
After 40 minutes of knocking the door and trying to contact Walsh on his phone, officers decided to force entry into the address to make sure he was ok. Once entry had been gained, Walsh appeared without warning, and holding a knife, ran towards the officers, who were standing on the threshold of the doorway. Walsh then proceeded to stab one of the officers several times. Another officer narrowly avoided injury.
The injured officer sustained serious stab wounds to his neck, chin and a deep wound to his arm that required stitches. He was taken to hospital for treatment.
Today, a jury found that Walsh had done the act of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Walsh was also tried on four other offences of assault relating to separate incidents:
• Common assault on an emergency worker, namely a police officer, on 12 November 2019 • Two offences of assault by beating of an emergency worker, in respect of a police officer and a mental health professional, on 12 November 2019 • Actual Bodily Harm of an emergency worker in respect of a mental health worker at Antelope House on 8 March 2020. Walsh, who was unfit to stand trial due to mental health issues, was found to have done the act in respect of all five offences.
He will next appear at Southampton Crown Court on 20 May for sentencing.
Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said “This was a terrifying incident for all the officers involved.
“Fortunately, whilst the officer who was stabbed in the neck sustained serious injuries, he has made a good recovery and has since returned to work. “We are thankful that he has been able to come back on duty after this horrifying event. This incident was challenging for all of those involved in the response.
“We know that our job does come with an element of risk, but we cannot underestimate the huge impact this has had on the officer, his family, colleagues and the wider police family.
“We will continue to work hard to ensure that we provide the best welfare and support to our highly-trained officers and staff, who often find themselves moving towards danger, not from it.
“This case demonstrates the dangers police officers face on a daily basis whilst working hard to keep people in our communities safe.”
Hampshire Police Federation Chair, Police Sergeant Zoe Wakefield said: “Officers go to work every day not knowing what they are going to be faced with. Sometimes, they are subjected to high levels of harm and violence and we absolutely cannot underestimate the impact this has on them.
“Although the physical injuries heal, the psychological trauma suffered lasts a lot longer.
“I am pleased this officer and his colleagues have managed to return to work. We will continue to provide him, and others, with the support they need.”