Moment knife thug STABS policeman in leg while pretending he needed his help – before fellow officer leaps from squad car and pins him down
- Video shows moment Paul Cunningham, 43, stabbed PC Richard Bligh in the leg
- Cunningham feigned needing help in Eastbourne town centre prior to the attack
- The Force says he had a history of threatening to stab and throw acid at officers
- At Lewes Crown Court, he was jailed for seven and a half years after admitting wounding with intent, possession of knife and assaulting an emergency worker
This is the moment an armed thug stabbed a police officer in in the leg and told officers he wanted him to die – after initially pretending to need his assistance.
Paul Cunningham, 43, from Eastbourne, stabbed PC Richard Bligh in September last year after flagging down the police car in the town centre.
The video was released as Cunningham, who had a history of threatening to stab and throw acid at police officers, was jailed for seven and a half years at Lewes Crown Court yesterday.
In the early hours of Monday, September 14, police were called to an incident in Eastbourne.
Having dealt with the matter, the officers were about to drive away from the scene when they were approached by Cunningham.
Video shows Cunningham, who was carrying a lock knife, approach the car and lean through the window at which point PC Bligh was stabbed in the leg.
Video released by police shows the moment Paul Cunningham approaches the police car after feigning he needed assistance before he stabbed PC Richard Bligh in Eastbourne town centre
Pictured: Cunningham stabs PC Bligh in the leg as he goes to get out of the car to help him
As he dragged himself away and administered his own first aid, two other officers tackled Cunningham and detained him until back up arrived.
The aftermath of the horrific moment was captured on camera as a team of officers can be seen restraining Cunningham who is filmed lying on the ground as they arrest him.
At Lewes Crown Court yesterday, Cunningham was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison after previously admitting wounding with intent, assaulting an emergency worker and possession of an offensive weapon.
The court heard Cunningham has a ‘strong, real hatred of all public services, especially the police.
Paul Cunningham was jailed for seven and a half years after admitting wounding with intent
Body-worn footage shows police detaining Cunningham on the ground after the attack
PC Bligh told the court: ‘I have no doubt that if it were not for the fact I was crewed with others, I would not be alive today. His intention was to kill me. He holds no respect for law or authority.
‘Underneath the uniform, I am still a human being with family and loved ones. Who is he to attempt to take a life?
‘I would deem him to be a danger to another person, he must not be allowed to do this again.’
He must also serve a further five years on extended licence.
Footage shows PC Bligh (left) dragging himself away from the danger after being stabbed
Body-worn footage shows PC Bligh receiving first aid from fellow officers after being stabbed
Following the sentencing, Eastbourne police Inspector Steve Shimmons said: ‘This was a vicious and targeted assault on PC Richard Bligh simply because he was a police officer.
‘Paul Cunningham approached him in the town centre in the early hours after he had attended to a separate emergency with his colleagues.
‘Initially, Cunningham presented as requiring help and PC Bligh responded to that. As he exited his patrol car, he was set upon and viciously stabbed, leaving him with a severe injury.
‘Thankfully, he has recovered from the physical impact of his injuries, but the extreme actions of Cunningham that night have left their impact on Richard and his family. ‘
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