Thug with history of violence returned to prison for attacking police officers with knife

A criminal with a history of extreme violence attacked a team of police officers with a knife as they tried to arrest him.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 1st April 2021, 9:32 am

Sean Gardiner was sprayed in the face with pepper spray before he burst out of a house waving the knife around at the officers, Leeds Crown Court was told.

The 37-year-old, who has spent the majority of his adult life behind bars, was jailed for almost seven years after admitting charges of affray, threats to kill and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The offences relate to an incident on Queen's Square, Pontefract, on November 17 last year.

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Sean Gardiner was given an extended prison sentence of six years, nine months.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said Gardiner had been released from prison in March 2020 on licence.

He was then placed in accommodation and had an electronic tag fitted to his leg..

On November 17 last year officers visited his address to speak with him over an alleged street assault on a member of the public.

He was not at the property and had managed to remove the tag.

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Gardiner was in the property with a woman and her young child, but the officers were denied entry.

Gardiner began shouting through a first-floor window and said: "The first one of you in this house before I'm ready is getting it. The first one is getting stabbed to death."

He then went down to the kitchen where he pulled a large carving knife out of a drawer and lunged at a female officer who had her arm through an open window, cutting her finger with the blade.

The officer then sprayed him and he retreated.

Gardiner burst out of the door waving the knife at the officers who were forced to move out of the way and he ran off.

He jumped over fences and ran through gardens but was finally captured after he jumped from the roof of the nearby King's Croft Hotel.

The court was told he has 19 convictions for 29 offences, including multiple assaults and wounding.

He was jailed for an indeterminate length in 2008 after stabbing a friend in the chest following an argument, causing a collapsed lung.

Christopher Morton, mitigating, said that during his last two years in prison, Gardiner had been receiving psychiatric treatment which came to and end and when he was released, despite being assured it would continue.

This was put down to the lockdown coming into force.

Mr Morton said: "The level of support available when he left prison did not happen as promised. He made repeated requests for help."

A doctor's report stated that Gardiner's anger "emerges without warning" and he is "emotionally unstable with paranoid traits".

Mr Morton added that Gardiner had a difficult upbringing and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.

The barrister said Gardiner had only spent 27 years of his adult life out of custody.

Judge Penelope Belcher described him as a clear danger to the public, adding: "It was a thoroughly frightening incident for all concerned.

"Not only were there threats to kill officers, it was conducted in the presence of your partner and her three-year-old child."

Gardiner was given an extended prison sentence of six years and nine months.

He must serve a custodial term of three years, nine months, followed by an extended licence period of three years.