Sergeant Andy Gore recalls moment Paul Elliot blinded him with ammonia

Man who partially blinded police officer with ammonia jailed for 14 years

Sergeant said attack was the worst moment of his life

Jane Dalton@JournoJane
Thursday 31 October 2019 21:39

A man who partially blinded a police officer when he sprayed ammonia in his face, has been jailed for 14-and-a-half years.

Paul Elliot hit Sergeant Andy Gore with noxious substance as he went up the stairs of a house in Darwen, Lancashire, while responding to a 999 call.

The spray hit him fully in the face and Sgt Gore, an officer with 22 years’ experience, blacked out and fell back down the stairs.

Left struggling to breathe, he was taken by colleagues to hospital. Despite various medical treatments, he remains blind in one eye.

Police said Elliot, 46, pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to one charge of wounding and two counts of throwing a noxious substance with intent in relation to two other officers.

He was jailed for 14 years and six months.

Officers were first called to the house in Darwen in the early hours of 16 April in response to a report of a distressed woman.

Elliot, who was on licence for life over an earlier attempted robbery conviction, had barricaded himself inside.

When the officers forced entry, they were attacked as they made their way up the stairs. He escaped through a first-floor window but was soon arrested.

In a victim impact statement to the court, Sgt Gore described the incident as the worst moment of his life, and one when everything changed.

The impact had ruined his life and left him emotionally and psychologically scarred, as well as physically injured, he said.

Zoe Salter, senior prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service northwest, said: “Paul Elliott carried out a sickening attack on police officers as they responded to an emergency call-out.

“The CPS will continue to work with the police to bring to justice anyone who deliberately harm emergency workers as they go about their duties to protect the public they serve.”

Additional reporting by PA