Moment thug sprayed PC in face with ammonia and threatened him with pistol - as he is jailed for 16 years

This is the heart-stopping moment a PC chases a thug who sprayed him with ammonia and pointed a pistol at them.

Body-worn camera footage shows officers confront a barechested James Boyle, 22, as he stalks the streets of Mitcham armed with a pistol shortly after midnight on June 17 last year.

Police were called to reports of people acting suspiciously around parked vehicles on Commonside East when PC Samuel Goard, approached Boyle asking him to take his hands out of his pockets.

Boyle then pulled out a bottle and sprayed the officer in the face with ammonia before moving toward him.

Only able to see out of one eye, the officer still managed to use his pepper spray accurately causing Boyle to turn and flee.

Boyle storms towards officer PC Samuel Goard (Met Police)
Boyle storms towards officer PC Samuel Goard (Met Police)

PC Goard said in his victim impact statement: “At the time of the incident I was in complete fear for my life. I did not know what the male had sprayed at me. Thoughts of acid, ammonia or any liquid that could have caused me irreversible injuries to my eye, sight, or permanent disfigurement to my face overcame me.

“My thoughts turned to my son at home, was he going to grow up only knowing me as having a disfigured face, will he recognise me when I go home?”

PC Goard and his partner PC George Garner launched into a footchase to catch the suspect.

Boyle pulled out a handgun and pointed it toward the PCs without firing it – but buying him enough time to escape on foot.

Boyle was located and arrested by officers and found with a knife and an axe in his rucksack (Met Police)
Boyle was located and arrested by officers and found with a knife and an axe in his rucksack (Met Police)

PC Garner said in his impact statement: “When he [Boyle] pulled the gun on me I felt powerless and had to let him run away. I was left with the same recurring thought – if it was so easy to point a gun at a police officer what would he do to a member of the public?

“I returned to work the day after the incident. I love my job and didn’t want what happened to affect me or make me fearful, but it is a terrifying reminder that the most routine call could end up being something that could change my life or the lives of my loved ones forever.”

Boyle was arrested by officers the next week after CCTV inquiries located Boyle who was found with a knife and an axe in his rucksack along with a drinks bottle containing ammonia.

During a search of his home address, a grey tracksuit top was found which was identical to the one worn by Boyle in the officers’ body-worn video footage.

The firearm Boyle used to threaten officers was found with forensics finding it had been fired prior to police arrival, and live rounds of ammunition were recovered. The ammunition and the bottle containing the liquid both provided forensic matches to Boyle.

DCI Rebecca Woodsford, from Specialist Crime, said: “Boyle is an extremely dangerous offender and we are pleased that the overwhelming evidence gathered during our investigation left him with no choice but to plead guilty.

“We have no doubt that he would have caused further harm was he not identified and arrested so quickly.

“My thoughts remain with the officers involved in this incident who are fortunate not to have suffered lasting injury. Police officers routinely put themselves in harm’s way but no-one should have to come home from work having being assaulted in the course of their duty.”

“Tackling violent crime is one of our top priorities and this includes those who assault our staff. Abuse of emergency workers is never acceptable and we will always deal robustly with offences of this nature.”

James Boyle, of Pulross Road, Brixton, was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court on Monday.

He plead guilty to administering a poison or noxious substance with intent, possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, using a firearm with intent, assault, possession of a knife and an axe as well as having a corrosive substance in a public place.