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Man jailed for spraying butane gas in officer's eyes in Aldershot

News   •   Nov 15, 2018 16:02 GMT

A man has been jailed for eight weeks for spraying butane gas in an officer’s eyes, causing him to temporarily lose his vision.

Lee Freeman, 37, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer at Basingstoke Magistrates Court on November 13.

The court heard how the incident happened shortly before midday on Monday, November 12, in Aldershot.

While in Morrisons, in Westgate, the officer spotted Freeman, who regularly uses the location to beg, speaking to a lady.

The court was told the officer went over to Freeman and asked him to leave but when he asked for a second time, Freeman pointed a can of butane gas at the officer’s face and sprayed it into his eyes.

This caused the officer severe discomfort and a burning sensation in his eyes which lasted for several hours.

Freeman was sentenced to eight weeks in prison.

Rushmoor Inspector John Halfacre said: “This was a totally unprovoked attack on one of my officers who was simply trying to do his job.

“My officers come to work every day determined to help make our community a better place for those living and working in the area and while they know they will come across people who will not be pleased to see them, they should never have to put up with being verbally or physically attacked.

“Assaulting police officers is not acceptable and should never be seen as ‘just part of the job’.”