Man who shot police officer in the face with pellet gun is jailed

A 40-year-old man has been jailed for 11 years after shooting a Northamptonshire Police officer three times in the face with a pellet gun.

Jun 14, 2021
By Tony Thompson
One of the scars on Sgt Cayton's face left by the pellet gun attack.

Sergeant Dave Cayton was responding to reports of a man with weapons at a property in Desborough in November 2020 when he was shot by 40-year-old Marshall Coe.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley said the “absolutely horrific” incident “chilled him to his core” and mirrors the rising levels of violence being seen against officers.

He said this is why all frontline officers at Northamptonshire Police are being issued with Taser.

Sgt Cayton had entered the house in Neuville Way and was walking up the stairs when Coe appeared, holding a pistol, which was later identified as one that fired metal pellets.

Before he could turn away, Coe shot Sgt Cayton three times in the face.

“Everything slowed down,” recalls Sgt Cayton. “The best way I can explain it is the fight or flight choice and I genuinely believe you don’t get to choose which one your body decides on. At that exact moment I think that’s where the benefit of being a police officer and the training you receive and the morals that you have, come into play. So my body’s reaction was, I need to fight, I need to defend myself and I need to protect the other people in this property.”

Despite the pain, Sgt Cayton attempted to disarm Coe, who by this point had also pulled out a knife, by deploying his Taser. Eventually, Coe backed down and Sgt Cayton arrested him.

It was at this moment that other officers arrived at the scene and Sgt Cayton was rushed to hospital.

Coe, previously of Desborough, was subsequently charged with wounding with intent and being in possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was found to be a dangerous offender and handed an extended sentence of 11 years in prison with the custodial part of that extended sentence set at eight years and eight months.

Northamptonshire Police said Sgt Cayton has recovered from his physical injuries but his face remains scarred.

Mr Adderley said: “Dave is an incredible police officer and I was so proud to hear of Judge Mayo’s comments regarding his bravery – commendations such as these are only handed out in very special circumstances which really demonstrates the level of courage Dave displayed that day during this absolutely horrific incident.

“I would walk through the gates of hell for my police officers and I will do everything in my power to protect them, including making sure that every instance of violence against them is pursued through the courts.

“When I heard about this incident, it chilled me to my core and it mirrors the rising levels of violence we are seeing against police officers across the country as a whole.

“This is why I will never apologise for being the first police force in the country to arm all frontline officers with a Taser and that roll-out is going well with all frontline officers now trained in the use of Taser across Northamptonshire Police.

“This was a top investigation by our CID and 11 years is a great sentence. It is also a real example that if you assault any of my police officers, we will come after you with the full force of the law behind us and do everything in our power to put you behind bars where you belong.”

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