In April I wrote about the assault on one of my officers, as he was enforcing a writ, by the judgment debtor wielding a large carving knife. My officer was cut twice – a two inch cut on his face and a three inch cut under his jaw; fortunately the jab to his stomach missed. You can read the full story here.

The debtor, Gary Burgess, who also uses the surname Knight, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and, on 26th November 2012, was sentenced to 8 months in prison.
Burgess initially denied the attack, but finally pleaded guilty when DNA evidence from the weapon matched the victim.

I am concerned that enforcement is getting more dangerous as threats are increasingly turning to violence. This is the third serious assault on an officer this year, and the second resulting in a custodial sentence for the assailant. A debtor was jailed for 12 weeks in May for obstructing an officer of the court after assaulting our officer while he tried to enforce the High Court writ.

I am pleased with the sentence and that the judge has taken this seriously. I only hope that it sends out a clear message to aggressive debtors.

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