Teenager gets four-year custodial sentence for series of offences including threats to girls while brandishing a machete

A teenager from Stowmarket has been given a four-year custodial sentence for numerous offences, including assaults on police officers and also on two other people, following incidents in the town earlier this year.

Dylan Craig, aged 18, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Thursday, September 10, where he was sentenced to a total of 48 months’ detention in a young offender institution.

Craig had previously pleaded guilty to the following eight offences:

  • Assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent (in respect of a female police officer);
  • Assault causing actual bodily harm (in respect of a male police officer);
  • Assault by beating (in respect of a 17-year-old girl);
  • Possession of a bladed article – a machete – in a public place;
  • Assault by beating (in respect of a 56-year-old man);
  • Three counts of criminal damage (in respect of vandalism to two vehicles on May 22 and a further vehicle on June 3).

Police were called at 8.25pm on Wednesday, June 3, to reports that two 17-year-old girls had been threatened near to Stowmarket Railway Station.

The girls reported that they were then followed into Creeting Road West, where Craig then brandished a machete at the girls before striking one of them on the leg with it, but not causing any injury. This same victim was then punched in the head by Craig three times.

Officers immediately attended and located Craig in the vicinity of Newton Road and in the process of attempting to make an arrest, two officers were assaulted by him.

One female officer sustained a fractured eye socket, a broken jaw and swelling, while a male officer sustained a cut to his face. Both required hospital treatment and the female officer has recently returned to work, but had to take several weeks off to recover from her injuries.

Craig fled the scene on foot and managed to evade capture, but following further police enquiries, at around 3am the following morning (Thursday, June 4), Craig was arrested in Stowmarket and taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

He was also suspected of being involved in another assault which took place in Ipswich Road, Stowmarket, shortly before the events above, at around 8pm.

A 56-year-old man was punched in the face and a bottle was thrown at his car windscreen. This attack was then linked with the vandalism of two vehicles in the town on Friday, May 22, both of which had their windscreens smashed and belonged to the victim of this attack.

Temporary Superintendent Simon Mills, West Area Commander, said: “The violence displayed by Dylan Craig on the night in question is both completely shocking and inexcusable. I cannot comprehend the motivation for these attacks: to punch an adult man through their car window is bad enough: but to then threaten teenage girls with a machete before punching one of them in the head three times is both cowardly and despicable.

“The ferocity of the assaults on the police officers who responded to those initial attacks was at another level though. Our officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public on a daily basis, but no one should expect to sustain a broken jaw and a fractured eye socket whilst going about their work.

“The officers were commended by the judge for their duty that night and rightly so. Their quick response and initial actions ultimately meant that a violent individual was identified and detained just a few hours later and he will now spend these early years of his adult life in custody.

“Assaults on emergency workers will not be tolerated and the length of his sentence, taking into account his age and early guilty plea, is a clear reflection that the courts will support this position, for which we are all grateful.”

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