Brave Derbyshire police officer left permanently scarred after brutal knife attack

An ‘outstanding’ Derbyshire police officer who was slashed across the face by a man he was trying to arrest for robbery has spoken about the impact of the attack.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 8:43 am

PC Steve Reid, an officer with 20 years’ service, suffered the attack when robbery suspect Richard Jefford produced a knife during the incident in Derby on the night of Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

He required 15 stitches and has been left with permanent scarring.

Officers eventually deployed a Taser to detain Jefford, who yesterday was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to causing grievous harm with intent.

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Richard Jefford has been jailed for the attack on a Derbyshire police officer.

PC Reid, a married father-of-three, said: “I don’t fully recall when I first saw my injuries in the resuscitation room at hospital, but it’s fair to say that I had not expected to be the victim of such an unprovoked and vicious assault.

"To say I was horrified by my injuries would be an understatement and it took a while to get stitched up.

“Everyone who saw me in person with my stitches in, and afterwards as the wounds were healing, found it to be very shocking but I was very lucky.

"The slash to the top of my temple went past my eye onto my nose, then caught the top of my upper lip. Had I not moved back, probably through instinct, I may have lost the sight in my left eye.

"With regards the left side of my face, again had I not moved back then from the initial knife marks, there were red scratch marks which continued to travel after I was cut and stopped at my carotid artery on the neck.

"I realise it could have been very different and could have killed me. This would have left my wife and children without a husband or father and just re-living that possible scenario makes me go cold and shiver.”

The trial began in December 2020 but was adjourned. The trial was due to re-start in July but Jefford changed his plea to guilty.

Chief Constable Rachel Swann said PC Reid was an ‘outstanding’ officer.

“While policing requires officers and staff to handle difficult and hostile situations, assaults upon them are serious and unacceptable and should not be tolerated - they are not simply part of the job,” she added.