Walsall gunman ‘held PC’s head under water’ in getaway bid

Calvert Batchelor Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Calvert Batchelor was jailed for more than nine years on Tuesday

A gunman who attacked a police officer and held his head under water during a struggle has been jailed.

Calvert Batchelor, from Birmingham, was pulled over by police in Walsall on 17 July 2019 when officers noticed his car was missing a number plate.

Police said the 37-year-old “bolted” from the car, where police found a loaded handgun, and then attacked an officer when he was cornered.

He was jailed for nine years and four months at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Batchelor was found guilty of possessing an illegal firearm and causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) before he was sentenced on Tuesday.

He received a six-year sentence for the firearm and a three-year and four months sentence for causing GBH.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Police found a blank-firing pistol which had been illegally modified to fire live rounds

West Midlands Police described how PC Paul Newman had pursued Batchelor, of Alma Street in Newtown, Birmingham, after he fled the Bescot Retail Centre car-park, where he had been stopped.

He ran down a brook, the force said, and “lunged” at the officer, “gouging at his eyes and grabbing inside his mouth with such force that he punctured a hole under his tongue”.

PC Newman said he had feared for his life when both men fell into the brook during the struggle and Batchelor held his head under water.

He has not returned to policing since the attack, West Midlands Police said, and is still recovering.

“PC Newman suffered nasty facial injuries and is still managing the long term psychological impact of being involved in such a traumatic incident,” Ch Insp Rachel Joyce said.

“This was a grotesque, violent attack on a brave police officer.”

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