Man jailed after stabbing police officer in face with pen

‘But for sheer fortune, her injuries may well have been life-changing or worse,’ detective says

Vincent Wood
Friday 12 February 2021 20:23
Man resists Taser and stabs police officer in face with pen

A man who stabbed a female Metropolitan Police officer in the face with a pen after threatening to kill her has been jailed for nearly four years.

Adrain Popa, 40, admitted to having assaulted PC Alexandra Dobbs and threatened her life on 16 August when she caught him lurking in the back garden of an ex-partner’s home in north London.

PC Dobbs had been among the first to arrive at the address where the Battersea Power Station safety supervisor had been seen in breach of bail conditions following a charge of alleged domestic assault.

The incident, caught on PC Dobbs’ body camera, left her permanently scarred after suffering multiple wounds to her face and neck, as well as scratches to her shoulder.

Jailing Popa at the Old Bailey, Judge Richard Marks QC acknowledged the “profound” effect his assault had had on PC Dobbs’ life and said: “Attacks on police officers will not be tolerated and those convicted of such an attack will be dealt with severely by the courts.”

Prosecutor Sarah Przybylska told how PC Dobbs had Tasered the Romanian defendant after he came at her.

Ms Przybylska said: “She heard him growl and believed that the Taser had activated and caused him pain, but had not been able to stop him because he was too close.

“He looked at her with his hand in a fist and said, ‘I’m going to kill you’.

“He came at her. She tried to cuff him. She saw the pen sticking out of his fist as he hit her again and again.

“She was not able to hold on to the Taser and it fell to the ground. The blows were hard enough to force her face away. He hit her shoulder. She thought that he had hit her at least five times. She felt helpless.”

PC Dobbs said in the wake of the attack she had felt a loss of confidence and paranoia about the scarring it had caused.

She said in a victim impact statement: “I have used lotions and make-up to conceal the scars on my cheek, but I am constantly reminded of what took place.

“The scarring has knocked my confidence as a person, I feel paranoid that people are staring at me.

“The threat of what could have happened scares me to this day.”

Detective Constable Huss Ahmed, the investigating officer, said: “The officer in this incident is incredibly lucky. But for sheer fortune, her injuries may well have been life-changing or worse, and we could have been looking at a very different investigation.

“I am glad Popa has admitted his guilt, and will now serve a custodial sentence. This serves a reminder that we will pursue anyone who attacks our colleagues, and will work to put them before the courts to face justice.”

The judge jailed Popa for three years and 10 months for the threat to kill and 15 months for assault occasioning actual bodily harm to run concurrently.

The court heard the domestic violence case against Popa was dropped after his former partner refused to give evidence.

Chief Inspector James Noble, of Scotland Yard’s northwest command unit, said: “This example highlights the risk that police officers face when they go to work.

“No officer should expect to be attacked in this way. Popa is a violent man who will now face the consequences of his abhorrent actions that day. We have and will always work to pursue charges against those who assault emergency workers.”

Additional reporting by agencies