Stowmarket teen Dylan Craig who punched police officers is sentenced in Ipswich Crown Court
A Stowmarket teenager who attacked a girl with a machete and then punched two police officers, has been put behind bars for two years.
Dylan Craig, 18, of Hill Rise, was described as ‘wicked’ after he committed eight offences which culminated in him landing a ‘haymaker’ punch to injure a female officer.
Judge Emma Peters said ‘you behaved like a disgusting thug,’ in handing him a four year concurrent sentence, half of which will likely be spent in custody in a Young Offenders’ Institute.
Today, Ipswich Crown Court heard he damaged cars belonging to the father of another teen, with whom Craig was said to share ‘bad blood’.
On May 22 he committed two counts of criminal damage in smashing windows of the father’s vehicles. The other offences were all committed on June 3.
The succession of offences began when he threw a bottle at the father’s car, which he was driving with his son a passenger. The father pulled alongside Craig and asked ‘what is your problem?’ Craig then punched him in the face.
Later, he was with two male friends when they approached two 17-year-old girls at Stowmarket railway station, and an argument played out. The girls left, but the three males followed them to Creeting Road West - with Craig’s friends trying to ‘calm him down’.
Benedict Peers, prosecuting, said: “He approached (one of the girls) and produced a machete from his trousers. He swung it about and said he did not care she was a girl.”
Mr Peers said he touched the victim’s leg with the side of the blade, which did not cut through her jeans. Craig then punched the teenage girl in the jaw and the collar bone.
At the same time, the man who’d had his car windows smashed had called the police. Two officers, one male, and one female, pulled up alongside the three males. Craig punched the police car windscreen. The three ran into a field, where officers followed. One of the others fled and the other surrendered.
The officers caught up with Craig. The court was shown a video recorded by a camera attached to the male officer’s chest, where Craig dropped to his knees when the two police confronted him with Tasers. At the apparent surrender, police withdrew the devices. Craig then leaped up and hit both officers, who fell to the ground and called out in pain. Craig ran away but was later arrested near Newton Road.
The attack left the female officer with a fractured eye socket and broken jaw, and her colleague with a cut to the face.
The female police officer said in court: “I have been a PC for 27 years and am proud to work for the force. This is the first time I have been assaulted to this extent.”
She added she was close to retirement age but wanted to make the decision herself, rather than have it forced upon her.
Both officers told the court about the financial impact the attack has had on them, from their loss of work hours and dental expenses. They are both now nearly back to full health and are close to resuming their normal roles.
Mr Clark representing Craig, said: “He was conscious of the global news (of police violence, particularly in America) and he was fearful something similar was going to happen to him.
“He had an early guilty plea. I would (like it to be taken into account) about his age and lack of maturity.
“He has been diagnosed with ADHD. He’d had a few drinks that night.”
“You caused harm, anguish, pain, and fear to a number of people.”
In sentencing, Judge Peters said: “You caused harm, anguish, pain, and fear to a number of people.”
As the judge listed the crimes, Craig smirked and shook his head, to which the judge said: “Do not shake your head, you pleaded guilty.”
She continued: “These are serious offences. I will take into account you are 18 and your counsel has described you as having a lack of impulse control. You pleaded guilty and I have been told you have shown remorse.
“Perhaps this seems a small sentence, but with your age and guilty plea it seems the fairest and least possible sentence.
“You behaved like a disgusting thug. You wickedly assaulted a number of people.”
A 16-year-old boy and 21-year-old man were also arrested on June 3 but were released without charge.
Craig wore a white t-shirt and appeared via video link from custody.
Judge Peters finished proceedings by thanking the police present, saying they did an ‘extremely good job’ in serving Suffolk.
Temporary Superintendent Simon Mills, West Area Commander, said: "The violence displayed by Dylan Craig on the night in question is both completely shocking and inexcusable.
"I cannot comprehend the motivation for these attacks: to punch an adult man through their car window is bad enough: but to then threaten teenage girls with a machete before punching one of them in the head three times is both cowardly and despicable.
"The ferocity of the assaults on the police officers who responded to those initial attacks was at another level though.
"Our officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public on a daily basis, but no one should expect to sustain a broken jaw and a fractured eye socket whilst going about their work.
"The officers were commended by the judge for their duty that night and rightly so. Their quick response and initial actions ultimately meant that a violent individual was identified and detained just a few hours later and he will now spend these early years of his adult life in custody.
"Assaults on emergency workers will not be tolerated and the length of his sentence, taking into account his age and early guilty plea, is a clear reflection that the courts will support this position, for which we are all grateful."