A MAN who hurled a coping stone off a bridge through a police car’s windscreen could have killed the officers on board, a court heard.
Jason Gamble has been jailed eight years for throwing the brick from above Coventry ring road just before midnight on February 15 last year while two officers were en-route to reports of a robbery near the city’s train station.
It smashed a hole through the centre of the windscreen, narrowly missing the officers, but leaving both with facial cuts from flying glass – one later needed glass fragments removing from his eyes.
A CCTV trawl led detectives to a hostel in Harnell Lane West where examination of security camera footage showed Gamble, who was wearing clothing matching that worn by a man on the footbridge, leave at 10pm and return about 20 minutes after the incident.
Officers found anti-police messages on the 45-year-old’s mobile phone and enquiries revealed he was arrested just two weeks earlier for kicking a wing mirror off a police car parked outside the hostel.
In an interview, Gamble claimed a side effect of medication resulted in memory loss and so he could not account for his movements on the night.
But Warwick Justice Centre heard he held a grudge against police following his arrest at a Coventry City football match in January 2015 for throwing a bottle onto the pitch.
He also blamed the authorities for a social care matter which restricted his access to his children.
In December a jury took just two hours to find him guilty of endangering the lives of police officers and yesterday (January 11) was sentenced to eight years behind bars.
Det Insp Stuart Bell said: “This was a serious attack on officers in a marked police car in the course of their duty – given the size of the coping stone and the impact it made on the car, it’s incredibly fortunate neither officer was seriously hurt.
“I am grateful to everyone who came forward with information to support our investigation and pleased the court has recognised the seriousness of Gamble’s actions by handing him a lengthy jail term.”
He added their officers worked hard to keep people safe and it was beyond comprehension that they should come under attack in this way in the line of duty.