‘Like being in a war movie’ says Leeds policewoman shot at point blank range

PC Suzanne Hudson. PIC: Ross Parry
PC Suzanne Hudson. PIC: Ross Parry
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A POLICE officer described the moment she was blasted in the neck at point blank range by a sawn-off shotgun as like being in a war movie.

PC Suzanne Hudson today showed members of the jury at Leeds Crown Court the horrific injuries she suffered to her hands and neck after being shot by James Leslie at a flat in Leeds.

The attempted murder trial has heard how the officer was shot in the early hours of December 4 last year after going to Leslie’s flat on Cardigan Road, Headingley, to investigate a complaint of criminal damage.

PC Hudson, 33, and her colleague PC Richard Whiteley had gone to the property to speak to Leslie when the shooting took place.

Describing the shooting, PC Hudson said: “It was eerily silent and all I could hear was what I would describe as a ringing in my head, similar to if you watch a war movie - an explosion goes off and there is like a long tone that goes off in your head.”

She added: “I remember thinking that something bad had happened - not being able to comprehend what.

“I remember thinking I needed to remove myself from that door and I remember using my right hand to grab myself down the stairs.

“I remember not being able to grab the rail for some reason and I could not understand why.”

PC Hudson said she did not realise that she had been shot until her colleague called for help on his radio to say that shots had been fired.

She said: “There was a point where my legs buckled completely and he had to assist to get me to the roadside.”

The officer also described the moment she looked down at her hand and saw her injuries.

She said: “My fingers were splayed. My middle finger was at a 90 degree angle and there were just pools of blood.”

PC Hudson said she recalled having difficulty breathing and realising she must have been shot in the neck.

The trial has heard how Leslie came out of his flat after the shooting and laughed before riding away on his bike.

The officer said: “At that time there was a lot going on with me. I felt that I was kind of fading out and I knew that I couldn’t breathe properly but I recall that PC Whiteley was having a conversation with somebody and as I looked to my left I could see somebody sat on a bike. But I can’t recall any other details than that,”

Prosecuting barrister Richard Wright, QC, asked PC Hudson if she ever lost consciousness at the scene.

She replied: “I don’t believe I lost any consciousness but I was very disorientated. That’s the best way I can describe it really. It happened so quickly and there are certain things I remember quite vividly but there are other things that are a bit faltering.

The jury heard how PC Hudson was then helped by other officers who arrived at the scene. An ambulance arrived to take her to Leeds General Infirmary and her next memory was waking up after surgery.

The officer had to undergo a life-saving operation after suffering damage to arteries in her neck.

PC Hudson showed her injured right hand to members of the jury. She also removed her tie and unbuttoned her shirt to show them where her lower face and neck had been peppered with shrapnel

Leslie pleads not guilty to attempted murder and an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He also pleads not guilty to possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life.


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