Police officer pistol whipped by Heckmondwike man

Matthew Hunt
Matthew Hunt

An off duty police inspector was pistol whipped and revellers at a nearby party terrified when a teenager high on drink and cocaine produced an imitation gun, a court heard.

Matthew Hunt was driven to Batley by a friend after a report that the man’s brother had been targeted at the party, which had already drawn complaints of noise from neighbours in the Hanging Heaton area.

He tried to get inside but was refused entry in the early hours of Sunday August 4.

Hunt then walked round the block looking for some of those involved.

Duncan Ritchie prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court that Hunt came across Julie Dent in a back road who asked him what was happening.

“He told her to ‘butt out” before he punched her in the face and she fell to the ground.”

Mr Ritchie said Miss Dent was held against a fence and Hunt told her he had a gun.

She thought it was an imitation but was scared and screamed for her partner, Mark Chamberlain, an off-duty police inspector, who rushed to her aid.

He shouted: “What’s going on, calm down, calm down” when he saw Hunt, who then put the gun to the side of Mr Chamberlain’s head “gangster style” repeatedly threatening to shoot him.

Fearing he was going to be killed Mr Chamberlain tried to restrain Hunt by putting him in a bear hug but Hunt pushed him away.

He again threatened to shoot him before swinging the gun at him repeatedly hitting him on the face, head and mouth with such force the weapon broke.

The final blow caused Mr Chamberlain to stumble to the ground and he knew he was bleeding heavily.

He and his partner managed to get away and alert police while Hunt then went back to the house where the party was going on.

He got in to the property through the back garden and threatened some of the girls still present with the weapon saying he would shoot them if they called the police.

One described later fearing she was going to be killed. “I was terrified, I was shaking, I was struggling to breathe, I really thought I was going to die.”

Another described how weeks after the incident she was still having flashbacks, was terrified if she saw anyone looking like Hunt and could not face watching films with guns in.

The court heard Hunt was driven home and was arrested there by armed police. He described the weapon as a ball bearing gun. He said he had little recollection of events because of drink and cocaine.

The officer needed stitches in his facial injuries and his permanently scarred.

Khaleeq Zaman representing Hunt said that night he had drowned his sorrows when not allowed access to his child and was sorry for his out of character behaviour.

Hunt, 19 of Batley Road, Heckmondwike, admitted possessing an imitation firearm, wounding with intent and common assault and was sentenced to eight years in a young offender institution.

Sentencing him Recorder Christopher Storey QC said fuelled by alcohol and cocaine Hunt had subjected Mr Chamberlain to a serious attack and then terrified those at the party.

“They were not to know this was not a genuine gun and that your threats to shoot them were empty.”