Policeman fears he may have HIV after being bitten by drunken ex soldier
A police officer has been condemned to wait months to find out if a ‘barbaric’ mauling by a drunken ex-soldier has left him infected with HIV.
PC Ashley Marsden suffered ‘excruciating’ pain when Daniel Chipchase, 41, sank his teeth into his right forearm as he was confronted rummaging around in his neighbour’s wheelie bins last month. The constable needed hospital treatment for scarring which he fears could be permanent.
He needed three injections, a supply of blood, boosters and antibiotics as doctors worked to stop the bleeding. Now he is awaiting results of tests for HIV, hepatitis and other infections and feels nervous when sent out alone on jobs.
Chipchase of Middleton, Greater Manchester, was jailed for 12 months after admitting assault on an emergency worker. In a statement read in court, PC Marsden said: ‘I was in excruciating pain and had to punch the defendant in the face in order to release myself from his grip.
‘Four officers tried to calm him down to stop him hurting himself or others but it had no effect. He was under the influence of drink or drugs but that is no excuse. I do not come to work to be subjected to this kind of disgusting behaviour while doing my job.
‘My family and I have months of worry to face while we wait for the results of blood tests so we know whether I contracted any diseases off him. There were bright red teeth marks which could be seen even after they were cleaned by medical staff.
‘I have never been bitten in the five years I have been a police officer. The incident cannot be an accident as it caused me many weeks of discomfort and pain which is likely to be a permanent and constant reminder of the incident. I am right handed and the scar is causing me issues every day.
‘Before this incident I would always look forward to work but this incident has affected my confidence and made me apprehensive about going on certain jobs especially when I am on my own.
‘I have always tried to shelter my partner from some of the sorts of experiences I have had at work but this is now impossible and she is now very worried about me whenever I go to work. This is last thing we could want during this pandemic.’
PC Marsden was bitten at around 10.30pm on April 6 after he and a colleague were called to Chipchase’s home. Neighbours had told them he had been behaving erratically.
Prosecutor Kate Hammond told Manchester’s to Minshull Street Crown Court that the two officers saw a man moving bins around and putting rubbish in them when they arrived.
She said: ‘He appeared to be drunk and was smelling of alcohol and was slurring his words as they asked him for his name which he said was “Dave”.’
A few more officers arrived and tried to get some details at him, at which point he began shouting, refused to engage and became aggressive, the court heard.
As PC Marsden arrested him for breach of the peace, Chipchase grabbed the officer’s trouser pocket and pulled him towards him. The defendant then tried to pull him to the floor.
Three other officers joined the fight to regain control and they constantly asked the Chipchase to calm down.
During the struggle the defendant lent forward and bit PC Marsden on his right lower forearm. The officer had to hit back in order to regain his grip.
As the defendant was arrested for the assault and cautioned, he was still being aggressive, putting his arm on the officer’s trousers and refusing to let go.
He had to be restrain again but continued to act violently as police asked him to calm down. Eventually officers had to use CS spray to defuse the situation for their own safety.
Ms Hammond added: ‘The prosecution say the biting was equivalent to the use of a weapon and that it was a serious if not a sustained attack bearing in mind the effect on the victim and the current pandemic.’
Defence lawyer Gemma Maxwell said: ‘The defendant expressed remorse when interviewed after the incident. Alcohol was a factor in this case, which is an aggravating feature and not an excuse- but it could be addressed by treatment.
‘He can safely be managed in the community and has a realistic prospect of rehabilitation. A report on him shows remorse and genuine insight into his behaviour on his behalf. He has a strong employment record and is an army veteran.’
Sentencing Judge Tina Landale said: ‘This incident has caused real pain, distress and anxiety for your victim and they were worried about the risk of catching HIV and hepatitis from your bite. The officer worries the scarring may be permanent.
‘I accept you have served the county and been remorseful and this offence is completely out of character for you.
‘I have come to the view that I cannot suspend your sentence. You assaulted a police officer in the midst of a public health emergency and there must be an element of deterrence.’
Greater Manchester Police’s PC Daniella Capper said: ‘As police officers we do not come to work and expect to be assaulted. The officer involved was subject to an unprovoked barbaric assault from Chipchase.
‘We hope this result sends a clear message that this type of behaviour towards our officers will not be tolerated on the streets of Manchester and is totally unacceptable.’