A police officer attacked with an electric circular saw has told how he thought he was going to die.
PC Ryan Hayhurst was attacked by Stephen Yabsley with electric power tools, including an angle grinder, and sustained a deep laceration to his left arm which severed tendons, as well as a dislocated shoulder and facial injuries.
PC Jon Lonsdale suffered sustaining a laceration to his left arm that caused an arterial bleed after he was attacked by Yabsley with the power tool.
Yabsley, 54, documented the following four-hour siege in Kingsbridge live on Facebook as he assaulted the two police officers in a vicious and sustained attack with power tools.
The pair suffered serious, life-threatening, injuries as a result of the attack.
Yabsley was sentenced on Friday to be detained indefinitely at Broadmoor Hospital by Judge Ian Lawrie QC.
He posted a series of pictures, videos and messages, with one saying ‘now under siege by armed guards’ after 35 officers surrounded his home in Kingsbridge in May last year.
Yabsley also uploaded a photograph showing shattered glass in his hallway.
Detective Inspector Simon Costin, Senior Investigating Officer, said: “No sentence can accurately reflect the significant impact this has had on all the police officers involved.
“Two of our officers sustained very significant, life threatening injuries when Stephen Yabsley attacked them with an electric circular saw.
“If it wasn’t for the extreme professionalism of, not only the two injured officers, but the other officers in attendance, this could very well have resulted in a fatality.
“Our officers are called upon to deal with dangerous situations every day. All too many of these incidents could result in officers being injured.
“Unfortunately in this case Yabsley had made preparations for an attack which was unknown to the attending officers. Power tools had been plugged into extension cables and positioned within the premises.
“While trying to maintain the safety of the general public and trying to safeguard Yabsley’s own welfare, they came under a vicious sustained attack.
“One officer, who was cornered in the premises by Yabsley, stated that he thought he was going to be killed. When he finally managed to escape he found his colleague on the ground and described him as ‘pale and dying’.
“The impact on these officers and every other police officer facing such danger cannot be underestimated.
“There is no question in my mind that the first aid administered by the other officers present saved their colleagues’ lives. The officers who dealt with this incident are a credit to the police service.”
Yabsley was convicted in October after pleading guilty to two counts of assault causing grievous bodily harm.
Judge Ian Lawrie QC sentenced Yabsley at Exeter Crown Court on Friday to be detained indefinitely at Broadmoor Hospital.
On Wednesday, May 15, 2015 at around 4.30pm police were called to a property Retreat Close, Kingsbridge following threats made by Yabsley to another resident.
Two male police officers attended the scene and were assaulted by Yabsley using power tools. They sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment.
During the tense stand-off 35 officers, including a firearms team, attended the scene while Yabsley posted a series of comments, pictures and videos on his own social media account.
A voice is heard taunting officers they would need “far better pepper spray” and encouraged them to “shoot me”.
He also posted a video which showed him attempting to speak to two officers whilst filming the conversation, then returning inside when the pair refused to speak on camera.
He tells the two men the footage is going out to “two and a half billion people”.
The video shows the power tools in the hall, including an angle grinder, while a number of images were also uploaded to his profile – including large amounts of blood splattered across the floor and walls.
The four Kingsbridge officers involved in the incident were recognised by the Force for their bravery at the South Devon Awards ceremony. They all received a Chief Constable’s Commendation and two officers have also been given a judicial commendation.
Sergeant John Dingle, PC Jon Lonsdale, PC Ryan Hayhurst and PC Rebecca Sutton-Scott Tucker also won the south west regional police bravery award at a national ceremony held in London on July 14.
PC Jo Pengilly received a Superintendents’ Certificate at the South Devon Awards ceremony for her actions at the scene, along with Sergeant Jon Ross and Inspector Karen Buck.