Man who had to be Tasered during struggle is spared jail after second assault on police

A man was Tasered by police after he tried to flee having been pulled over in his ex-partner’s stolen car.

Police have spoken of their disappointment that a man has been spared jail - after his second assault on an officer.

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Now the woman who represents rank-and-file officers in Hampshire says it is ‘very disappointing’ that he has not been jailed for assaulting an officer.

The 31-year-old disqualified driver, of Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, had been spotted in his former partner’s blue Vauxhall Zafira after taking it from her driveway.

Wagstaff tried to flee in car then on foot

Matthew Wagstaff is detained by police with the use of a Taser in Privett Road, Gosport, on September 16, 2021: Picture: CPS Wessex

During the incident at 3.50pm on 16 September this year on Privett Road, Gosport he tried to flee in the car and then on foot - before assaulting PC Andrew Holmes.

A second PC then deployed a Taser - with this at first failing as the barbs did not connect. He was taken to the ground after a second Taser shot connected.

Wagstaff had also avoided jail this summer for attacking another officer with a colleague’s baton while garden-hopping. The PC was left with injuries to his head after Wagstaff repeatedly hit him with the metal stick.

At Portsmouth Crown Court he was again spared prison after a judge heard he had come off an opioid substitute at the time, and his unborn child was facing serious medical complications.

The injury to PC Andrew Holmes caused by Matthew Wagstaff. Picture: CPS Wessex

‘No excuse for assaulting a police officer’

Hampshire Police Federation chair Zoe Wakefield represents rank-and-file officers and said the sentence was ‘extremely disappointing’.

She said: “There’s no excuse for assaulting a police officer or another emergency worker and it’s very disappointing that it’s not only the first time but the second time that he hasn’t received a custodial sentence.

“Where’s the deterrent? Where’s the deterrent for him, and where’s the recognition from the court that police officers are a valued member of the community that don’t deserve to be assaulted when they’re just doing their job.

Zoe Wakefield, Hampshire Police Federation chair

‘It’s unfortunately not surprising but extremely disappointing.’

Wagstaff has five convictions for 12 offences, including assaulting police, actual bodily harm, battery, criminal damage and was banned from driving in 2018.

Recorder Adam Feest QC said it would be ‘unjust in all the circumstances’ to jail Wagstaff.

But addressing Wagstaff, he added: ‘It’s about as close-run thing as it’s possible to get. This is very much your last chance.’

Matthew Wagstaff is detained by police with the use of a Taser in Privett Road, Gosport, on September 16, 2021: Picture: CPS Wessex

The previous suspended sentence will now last two years, and he must complete an 18-month community order with six-month drug rehabilitation requirement.

Wagstaff was banned from driving for 18 months.

He admitted assaulting an emergency worker, driving without a licence or insurance and taking a vehicle without consent.

Daniel Reilly, mitigating, had told the court the incident happened at the ‘first time he had been drug-free for 14 years’.

Matthew Wagstaff is detained by police with the use of a Taser in Privett Road, Gosport, on September 16, 2021: Picture: CPS Wessex

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