Man used 'super squirter' to spray drain cleaner over police
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
A man who squirted drain cleaner in a child’s “super squirter” water pistol at two police officers has been jailed for six years.
The corrosive fluid landed on the officers’ faces, hands and clothing, leaving them with painful blisters that needed treatment at a specialist burns unit, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Mark Bedwell, 49, of Tonning Street, Lowestoft, was about to be extradited to the USA on the day of the attacks in December 2019.
Bedwell had denied two offences of throwing a corrosive substance with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or do them grievous bodily harm but changed his pleas to guilty on Monday (June 28).
Isobel Ascherson, prosecuting, said that between 2017 and 2019 Bedwell had fought extradition to the USA for alleged offences.
In 2019 the courts issued a warrant for him to be taken to the USA to face trial.
He was notified that Metropolitan police officers would attend his home at 5am on December 5 2019 to take him to Heathrow Airport and be put on a plane to the USA.
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Two Suffolk officers attended to assist and when they arrived at the premises 4.45am they found the front door open.
They called out to Bedwell, who was in the kitchen.
The officers saw two suitcases in the hall and when one stopped to read a note he felt liquid splash on his face and an immediate burning sensation.
He saw Bedwell holding a super squirter which he aimed at the second officer.
Miss Ascherson said both officers felt “extreme pain and a burning sensation” and had turned and left the house.
Their Metropolitan colleagues poured water over them, and they were taken to hospital before being transferred to a specialist burns unit in Chelmsford.
The court heard one officer suffered blisters to his face, lips, chin, the tip of his tongue, neck, scalp and hands, while the other had injuries to his left ear, fingers and hands.
In a victim impact statement one of the officers said the attack had affected him mentally and physically. The other officer said the attack had left him feeling less confident and doubting his future in the police force.
Bedwell was arrested after he turned up at hospital complaining he had injured his ankle while running away from police.
Michael Chambers, for Bedwell, said his client had no previous convictions and apologised for the effect the attack had on the officers and the people close to them.
He said Bedwell had been fearful for his life and the consequences of being extradited to the USA for criminal activity which he was not involved in.