Thief jailed after assaulting security guard and police

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Ben Noonan. Image: Bedfordshire Police
Ben Noonan. Image: Bedfordshire Police

A Bedford man who assaulted police and security staff, leaving one officer with physical and mental scars, while trying to evade arrest has been jailed.

Ben Noonan, 31, punched a police community support officer (PCSO) multiple times in the face when attempting to run away from him during an incident in Becket Court, Bedford on 16 May this year.

When officers later found and attempted to arrest Noonan for the assault, he bit one of them on the hand, causing injury, and spat at the officer’s face as he was trying to escape.

In a separate incident on 17 April, Noonan stole more than £400 worth of goods from a shop in Bedford town centre. When a security guard tried to detain him, he stabbed the man in the hand and arm with a small sharp object and fled.

Both the police officer and the security guard were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries.

Noonan, of Hurst Grove, Bedford, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing actual bodily harm (ABH), one count of assault on an emergency worker, and one count of possession of a bladed or sharp article.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and five counts of theft in connection with several incidents that took place between 17 April and 16 May.

Sergeant Phil Boyd, the arresting officer who Noonan assaulted, said in his victim impact statement that he has been mentally struggling since the attack.

“I have been thinking about it with every moment I have to myself, and I think the sudden flinching in bed when my hand is exposed must be linked to it,” he said.

“I have never been assaulted to this severity before and I can feel its impact both physically and psychologically.

“What upsets me the most is when I hold my children’s hands with the hand he bit. To this day knowing those scars are close to their hands really gets to me.”

Noonan appeared at Luton Crown Court on Thursday, 9 November, where he was sentenced to two years and three months behind bars. One year was for ABH relating to the assault on Sergeant Boyd.

Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said: “While most people instinctively move away from danger, our officers will often display exceptional courage by running towards it, driven by a commitment to protecting our communities and ensuring public safety.

“However, this should not be misconstrued as an acceptance of physical or verbal assault as part of the job.

“Everyone deserves to carry out their duties in an environment free from threats and violence, and we are unwavering in our commitment to ensuring those who commit assaults face the full consequences of their actions.

“We also recognise the impact that such incidents can have on individuals, both physically and mentally, and are dedicated to offering comprehensive support to those who have been affected.”