PC's attacker gets 21 years

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A ROBBER who left a policeman with brain damage after beating him about the head with a hammer, was jailed for 21 years at the Old Bailey yesterday.

PC Andrew MacDonald, 31, was praised by Judge Michael Coombe for tackling Gary Lawrence, 25, when he saw him robbing a petrol station in Woolwich, south London. The police officer's skull and arm were fractured, he spent three months in a wheelchair and has been unable to return to work since the assault eight months ago. After the "violent struggle" Lawrence, from Deptford, south-east London, was found hiding in an alley. He was found guilty of robbery and causing grievous bodily harm, jailed for six years for the robbery and 15 years, to run consecutively, for the GBH.