To: Jack Straw, Ministry of Justice & Keith Bristow, Warwickshire Police
Police Constable Pete Doherty is an officer in the Warwickshire Police force. In August 2006, he was wounded in an area not protected by his stab vest, penetrating his abdominal cavity. This happened when he tried to arrest Mark Connolly, 25, during a robbery on a news agents. In an act of unselfish bravery, PC Doherty pulled the crow bar out of his chest and attempted to chase Connolly before collapsing. Connolly had thrown the 2ft-long spike from the stolen car he was in with such force that it pierced PC Doherty's body, lodging eight inches into his chest.
The officer was left fighting for his life and was only fit enough to return to work with Warwickshire Police eight months after the attack. He suffered a perforated bowel and now needs a colostomy bag.
Connolly got eight years in 2007 for GBH, burglary and aggravated vehicle taking. But he was let out on an unsupervised day release on Friday to launch an appeal against a driving ban for riding in the stolen car. The 24-year-old also leaves Spring Hill open prison, Aylesbury, Bucks, once a week to attend a college course. PC Doherty, who was left disabled, was "devastated" by the news.
Mark Connolly is also due to be released on probation in 2011, at the half-way point of his sentence. He has already enjoyed a number of other day releases from Spring Hill jail near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. A source close to the case said he had also enjoyed a week???s home leave/holiday from the jail.
This is petition is to:
Keith Bristow, Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police. He is also Head of the Association of Chief Police Officer???s (ACPO) Crime Business Area, and the ACPO lead on the Government???s Tackling Knives and Serious Youth Violence Programme, and the chair of the G8 Law Enforcement Group.
The Right Honourable Jack Straw, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
We, the undersigned, hereby respectfully protest at the hitherto lenient treatment of the dangerous, convicted criminal Mark Connolly.
We protest that PC Pete Doherty's brave efforts in attempting to protect and preserve life, and in ignoring, in the name of Justice, the immense dangers he was exposing himself to, have gone largely unrecognised.
We protest at the British Justice system which rewards the likes of Prisoner Connolly for their heinous, anti-social contribution.
We protest that the immense costs caused by Prisoner Connolly to PC Dohery and his family, The NHS, the Courts, Warwickshire Police, and the Prison Service, Police morale and indeed the entire fabric of British society.
We protest that the needs of the British people, entrusted to you in your respective positions, whilst being protected by the likes of PC Doherty and his colleagues, are being willfully neglected by you.
We The Undersigned, request an urgent and immediate inquiry as to the current conditions of the UK Justice System, and specifically those that pertain to Prisoner Mark Connolly and the unfair, unearned leniency given to him.
We The Undersigned request that Prisoner Mark Connolly serve his full term sentence, in an institution more suited to assess his behaviour, and in particular, his propensity towards reckless violence.