Today (Tuesday 10th April 2018) at Swansea Crown Court, 36 year old, Tony Buttigieg from the Caerleon area was sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to cause grievous bodily harm on Gwent Police Constable, Rhydian Jones.
On Monday 2nd October 2017, officers were called to a report of a man banging doors in the hallway of residential flats in the Caerleon area. Local officers attended and identified the man as Tony Buttigieg, he was not cooperative and in possession of two large kitchen knives. Two local officers who were first on the scene contained Tony Buttigieg until the arrival of our specially trained officers carrying a Taser.
On arrival of officers from our Area Support Unit, body worn video was activated and the officers attempted negotiations. Tony Buttigieg clearly appeared to be under the influence of either alcohol or some other intoxicating substance and was waving the knives around, making threats to harm himself and the officers. Despite officers’ negotiations, he tried to gain entry to another flat and then began to push the knife into his stomach area in a self-harm action. Therefore, the officers were left with no alternative but to take decisive action.
Taser was discharged but did not achieve incapacitation. Tony Buttigieg began to lash out and attempted to stab PC 188 Rhydian Jones on at least three occasions. He was overpowered by officers and the knives were removed from his possession.
On Tuesday 10th October 2017, Tony Buttigieg was charged and later remanded for the attempted murder PC 188 Rhydian Jones, he pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted grievous bodily harm on Monday 19th February 2018.
Leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Nick Wilkie explains: “Gwent Police take incidents like this very seriously. Luckily, the outcome wasn’t fatal but nonetheless it was traumatic for all those involved. Tony Buttigieg acted with blatant disregard for both the public and attending officers which is totally unacceptable.
“The body worn video footage is particularly harrowing to watch and reminds us of the risks officers face every day, when officers are simply carrying out their duty. Our officers showed exceptional professionalism and bravery when confronted by an intoxicated, agitated man in possession of two large knives, taking decisive action and courageously protecting the public from possible harm.”
On Monday 19th March 2018, PC Rhydian Jones, PC Gareth Marsh and PC Ashley Cotton received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for their bravery when responding to this incident.