Cop Recounts Near Fatal Brain Injury After Punch to the Head

An English cop, who needed life-saving brain surgery after he was punched in the head by a 27-year-old man, has spoken out about the fateful day.

Police Constable Leo Clarke, then 24, was left with a near-fatal brain bleed after being attacked by Joshua Gull, then 27, just as the former started his new career as a police officer in Cambridgeshire, a county north of London in central England, in the U.K.

He was in the hospital for five days and needed surgery which left him with huge scars on his head. Gull was jailed for the horrifying attack and the rookie officer has spoken out for the first time about his ordeal.

Speaking to the Cambs Cops podcast, he said he was so unaware of his own injuries, he didn't know if he had been punched, and even offered to drive.

COP
Police Constable Leo Clarke in an undated photo (R). Clarke was left with a potentially deadly brain bleed after being attacked by Joshua Gull just as he started his new career as a police officer in Cambridgeshire, a county north of London in central England. Joshua Gull (L) poses in an undated photo.

He said: "I think he might have thrown a fist. This bit's a little bit, um, not blurry, but with the adrenaline and everything that happens it goes so quick. So yeah, potentially a fist gets thrown."

The police officer then spent the next 20 minutes trying to de-escalate the situation while backup arrived.

Gull was quickly arrested by arriving officers and placed in the back of the van.

Clarke added: "I think one of my colleagues started asking, "are you okay?" Cause I sort of said: 'I'll drive back to the nick (British slang for the place where an arrest has taken place), get the paperwork started. And they're like, "no, you are not driving, one of us will take you.""

It wasn't until he tried to climb the stairs of the police station that he realized something wasn't quite right.

He added: "I remember walking up the stairs to the response office at Thorpe Wood, and I know those stairs take a lot out of everyone, but I remember walking up them thinking "I need to hold onto the rail" and thinking, "oh dear, this isn't good. It's not just a punch.""

Once up the stairs, Clarke went to speak to his boss where he claims he was told he was "speaking gibberish and saying I lived in the car park."

The officer was quickly rushed to Peterborough City Hospital where he was unable to confirm his birthday and where he lived.

Gull, of Oundle, Northamptonshire, England, admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent at Peterborough Crown Court.

The court heard that Gull had missed a psychiatric appointment at Peterborough City Hospital on the morning of the assault, and walked to the family address prior to speaking with a doctor. He was sentenced in April 2021 to one year and eight months in jail.

Clarke spoke out on the podcast last week.

Produced in association with SWNS.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.