A MAN who stole a police officer's Maglite torch and smashed him in the head with it, knocking him unconscious during a desperate attempt to evade arrest at Raymond Terrace has been jailed for a maximum of four-and-a-half years in Newcastle District Court.
In two other separate incidents during a five-month period of "reckless, dangerous and violent offending", David Lance Robert Riordan, now 25, also dragged another police officer alongside his car in a bid to escape police at Charlestown and mercilessly bashed a man during a home invasion at Mayfield.
Riordan, who was represented by barrister Robert Hussey and solicitor Craig Eade, will be eligible for parole in January, 2022, after Judge Tim Gartelmann, SC, ordered he serve at least two years and nine months in jail on Friday.
Riordan had pleaded guilty to aggravated enter with intent to commit serious indictable offence, using an offensive weapon to prevent a police investigation and wounding an officer in execution of duty.
Riordan gave evidence on Friday via audio visual link from jail, telling Judge Gartelmann he suffered from severe anxiety and was self-medicating with ice and cannabis at the time he committed the three separate acts of violence.
In November, 2018, Riordan and another man forced their way into a boarding house at Mayfield and Riordan punched a man about eight times in the head, his blood splattering onto the furniture.
Riordan knew police were looking for him and later when he was stopped in Charlestown by police he gave a fake name.
Checks revealed his deception and Riordan accelerated away, a female police officer hanging onto him through the window and running alongside the speeding vehicle before letting go. Police again searched for him but it wasn't until April 24 in Raymond Terrace that police tried to pull him over again and he sped away, leading police on a pursuit on the wrong side of the road at high speed. Police later found the car in Finnan Park before spotting Riordan running away. Senior constable Kane Goodchild gave chase and when Riordan shaped up to him and threw a punch, Goodchild swung his torch and hit Riordan in the ear. Riordan then grabbed the torch and bashed Goodchild over the head with it, briefly knocking him unconscious.