Essex

Rayleigh police officer stabbing: Man admits attempted murder

Basildon Crown Court
Image caption John McCartney will be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on 6 March

A man has admitted attempting to murder an off-duty police officer who was stabbed and slashed 11 times while at home with his wife and children.

John McCartney, 40, of Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, was arrested after the attack in the Rayleigh area, at about 21:15 BST in April last year.

The victim, who cannot be named, suffered stab wounds to his chest and cuts to his arm and abdomen, Basildon Crown Court heard.

McCartney will be sentenced on 6 March.

McCartney, who is currently being held at a secure psychiatric facility, had been living in China until he returned to the UK weeks before the attack, an earlier hearing was told.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed weapon.

'Emotional scars'

At a previous hearing the court heard McCartney knew the Essex Police officer, who is now recovering at home.

Essex Police said he had been at school with the officer and had become obsessed with him, despite the fact they had only ever said "hello" to one other.

In the weeks before the attack the defendant had carried out a campaign of harassment on social media before launching a "sustained and frenzied knife attack" on the officer after knocking on his door on 24 April.

In a statement Essex Police said: "Despite suffering 11 stab and slash wounds, a number of which were extremely serious, our officer, using tactics learnt during his police training, battled valiantly to keep McCartney away from his family, and to restrain him to prevent him causing harm to his family and neighbours."

In a victim impact statement the officer said the attack had had a "huge impact on him" and he and his family, friends and colleagues would have to live with the "emotional scars".

Chief Constable Ben-Julian "BJ" Harrington praised the officer, who received an award in October.

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