Devon

Man accused of assaulting Devon officer 'suffering PTSD'

David Bull
Image caption David Bull claimed he was suffering from combat-related PTSD, after tours in the Middle East and Africa

A former soldier accused of "savage levels of violence" against two police officers suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a court heard.

David Bull, 37, allegedly put Sgt Dave Clarke in a headlock and lifted him by the nostrils after being pulled over.

The defendant, from Bedfordshire, tested more than twice the drink-drive limit, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Mr Bull has admitted a count of grievous bodily harm, but denies three more charges.

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A clinical psychologist called by the defence told the jury Mr Bull, from Luton, Bedfordshire, was also suffering from depression and he had a problem with alcohol abuse.

Dr Ian Anderson said at the time of the alleged assault in Tavistock last year Mr Bull was probably in a "trance-like state".

'Terrifying incident'

Mr Bull had previously told the court he had served in the Army for 14 years, on tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Sierra Leone.

He said he had taken voluntary redundancy in 2013 and had found it hard to get a stable job.

As well as the alleged assault on Sgt Clarke, Mr Bull is accused of dislocating the knee of PC Jenny Mashford, who wept as she told jurors about the "terrifying incident" in Tavistock, Devon.

Mr Bull, who faces four charges in total, has admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Sgt Clarke, but denies a charge of intending to do so.

He also pleaded not guilty to assaulting PC Mashford, with or without intent.

The trial continues.

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