AN HEROIC police officer has described how he fought off a knife-wielding attacker in a busy Accrington street.
PC David Taylor, of Accrington Police, spoke out after Peter Pearson, 34, was convicted by a jury at Burnley Crown Court of attempted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The court heard that PC Taylor was lucky to escape serious injury when Pearson, of Springfield Mews, Oswald-twistle, tried to stab him outside the Designer Warehouse, Blackburn Road, on 17 September last year.
Speaking after the case, the officer described how he was patrolling the town centre alone when he spotted Pearson from his van.
He said: "I recognised him from somewhere but I couldn't remember his name or whether he was wanted for any offences. So I parked my vehicle and got out to check his details. Without any warning, he pulled a six-inch serrated hunting knife from inside his clothing and went for my neck and head.
"I managed to dodge the blow by stepping out of the way and I remember shouting at him to put the knife down - I was very aware that it was four in the afternoon and there were people knocking around. I tried to gain some distance from him but I fell over the kerb onto my back. He then attempted several times to stab me, but our training teaches you how to defend yourself in those situations and I managed to kick the weapon from his hand."
PC Taylor, who suffered minor injuries to his elbows in the attack, then restrained and handcuffed Pearson while his colleagues came to his aid.
He said: "You do fear for your life but my job is to protect myself and members of the public. It was a matter of taking hold of the situation and establishing control. In this respect, it was a successful outcome. It was a serious incident but things like this are very rare. It probably won't happen again in my career."
Pearson, who was originally charged with attempted murder, also admitted possessing an offensive weapon and he was detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act. He was not in court for sentencing because psychiatrists had advised against it.