A POLICE officer who was doused in petrol after a high speed chase has spoken of the last impact the incident has had on him.

The perpetrator of the attack has today been jailed for more than three years. 

In an emotive impact statement given to Basildon Crown Court, superintendent Jonathan Baldwin said: “The emotional impact has been far more impactive than physical.

“At the time of the incident I remember thinking we could all go up in flames like raining candles.

“When it happened, I remember I could not let go of a suspect so that I could retreat from the threat, I had to hope that no one was smoking nearby.

Southend Standard:

Brave - superintendent Jonathan Baldwin

“In the 20 years of policing, when pursuing rural crime, to being in town centres having bottles thrown at me, to pursuing suspects down darkened alleyways, I have never felt so vulnerable.

“It’s shown me the places people will go to stop police officers in their line of duty.

“I realise I might not have got home at all.”

Mr Baldwin also told that he became agitated at home, and had flashbacks of the horrific event when he filled up his car with petrol a week after the incident, but that he and his officers were still proud of their work to put other people’s safety above their own.

It was also heard that members of the public had come to help the police officers, offering them water and taking them into their homes to have themselves checked and eyes washed out.

He added: “Watching the footage back more recently, it nearly immediately brought me to tears.

“But I had the absolute privilege to see the members of the community come to support us.

“They stood by us and all those who were doused in petrol were taken care of.

“It’s thankfully been one of the most significant memories I have had from the incident.

“What some did to us on that day are not representative of the wider community.”

Justin Jackson’s letter “I am deeply sorry for what I have done.

“I hope I get the chance to apologise to police in person.

“I can only imagine the fear they must have had. That was not my intention.

“I was just trying to diffuse the situation. My mother has a heart condition and I was worried about her safety.

“I am deeply sorry, this should never have happened.

“Without the police the world we live in would be a bad place.

“I am not a violent person, I did not set out to harm anyone involved. I deeply regret it.”