Man found guilty of attempting to murder Harrow officers
11 December 2012
A man has been found guilty at the Old Bailey today, Monday 10 December, of attempted murder following a lengthy and violent attack on Harrow police officers.
Christopher Haughton, unemployed, of Milford Gardens, Harrow, was also convicted of several counts of assault following two incidents which saw officers stabbed, bitten, and spat at.
Three of the officers needed surgery their injuries were so severe.
Haughton will be sentenced on Thursday 13 December.
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Keely Smith, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said:
“Haughton is a very dangerous and violent man and I am pleased that the overwhelming evidence we were able to present at court has resulted in these convictions today.
“The police officers held onto him and arrested him despite coming under a sustained knife attack. Without the intervention of other officers at the scene who were able to eventually restrain Haughton, the outcome could have been very different. This case reminds us all of the risk police officers face everyday as they work to keep London safe.”
Chief Superintendent Dal Babu, Harrow Borough Commander said: "All the officers involved in the incident put their lives on the line to protect the public and ensure that this dangerous man did not escape.
"I pay tribute to their courage and determination in keeping the people of Harrow safe. Had it not been for their personal bravery, members of the public could have been seriously injured or killed.
"I am grateful that the medical treatment the officers received resulted in them making a remarkable recovery, enabling them to return to work."
Victim Police Constable Tom Harding, who was stabbed in the stomach, said: "I owe my life to the bravery of my colleagues. I cannot praise them enough for their determination and courage in what was a harrowing ordeal. I believe they represent the finest officers of the police service and it is an honour to serve amongst them".
On the evening of 9 October 2011 Haughton was in his bedsit in Hopton Road, Streatham, playing loud music.
At about 18.30hrs a neighbour asked him to turn it down.
Haughton's response was to push the neighbour down the stairs. Later he visited the neighbour's flat - armed with a wooden stick - and told him he had been disrespected. He then went to another neighbour's flat and demanded that he leave the building which the neighbour did.
Police were called and two officers arrived just after 20.00hrs, spotting a Samurai sword wedged into a gate at the location.
The officers went up to Haughton's flat, identified themselves and asking him to open the door. Haughton swore at them, telling them to go away.
The officers kicked the door open to be met by Haughton brandishing a broom handle as a weapon. He rushed at the officers, knocking one backwards and causing him to fall down the stairs. CS spray was used, resulting in Haughton dropping the weapon but punching the officers instead.
Haughton continued to attack the officers, biting PC Vicky Vincent on her left thigh so hard he drew blood. He shook his head from side to side so vigorously that her trousers were ripped from waist to ankle. He had blood around his mouth and spat at officers whilst continuing to punch and bite them. His bloodied spittle hit PC Alison Spruce in the face and eyes.
The officers finally managed to restrain him and he was taken to Brixton police station and charged.
Haughton appeared at court and was subsequently bailed to live at his brother's address in Milford Gardens, Harrow.
On Saturday 19 November at approximately 08.40hrs police were called to Kenton Road, Harrow, by a member of the public who had seen Haughton shouting and clearly agitated.
Haughton attacked the officers, biting PC Stephen Barker on the arm and tearing his fleece. He gathered masonry and other missiles which he threw at officers; one missile struck PC Barker on the hand.
He then entered the Kingsbury Road Halal Butchers and, going directly to the back of the shop where the butchers cut and serve, grabbed a 8 -10 inch knife. He attacked the pursuing officers, causing significant injuries to four of them.
At one point Haughton straddled PC Harding and stabbed down numerous times towards his chest; one stab penetrated between his protective shield and Met vest causing a 8-inch deep stab wound to his abdomen, perforating his bowel.
PC Ali Hinchliff attempted to help PC Harding and was slashed across the left side of his face, the knife penetrating his mouth. Haughton continued to stab at PC Hinchliff causing deep wounds to his arm.
PC Andy Robb was stabbed twice across his left leg. The officers tried to control Haughton but he continued to attack them. He attempted to stab PC Sham Haque in the neck but was stopped by PC Barker who grabbed his wrist, preventing serious injury or worse.
Uninjured officers succeeded in handcuffing Haughton, who continued to be violent and aggressive. Whilst being driven to Uxbridge Police station he bit PC John Charlton on the leg.
Constables Harding, Hinchliff and Robb went straight into surgery.
Haughton was subsequently charged with offences relating to 19 November and the two cases joined together for court proceedings.
All the officers eventually returned to work although only just in the past few weeks has PC Harding been able to return to his full duties.