A MAN who stabbed a police officer with a pair of scissors has been jailed for eight years.

Craig Goddard, 42, turned on the traffic officer after being caught stealing meat from Marks and Spencer in St Neots on July 14, last year.

Staff alerted a Pc Leigh Fenton who was passing the store. But when he approached him in East Street, Goddard pulled out a pair of scissors and launched a frenzied attack, repeatedly trying to stab him in the face and head.

A PCSO and a member of store staff came to the PC Fenton's aid, along with two off-duty officers who had spotted the fracas. He was eventually arrested.

The officer needed hospital treatment after being stabbed in the face by Goddard during the struggle.

Goddard, of Surrey Road, Huntingdon, denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent but was convicted following a trial at Huntingdon Crown Court.

He was jailed for eight years at Norwich Crown Court today (Tuesday). He was also sentenced to eight months for possession of a bladed article and four months for theft. Both sentences to run concurrently with the eight year term.

Judge Nicholas Coleman also placed Goddard on a two-year extended licence.

Detective Constable Martin Brocklebank said: "Goddard armed himself with a weapon and was prepared to use it on anyone who tried to stop him stealing from the store. This sort of attack demonstrates the dangers that every officer faces in their day to day work.

"Leigh showed great courage and determination to defend himself during the attack and ensure Goddard was arrested. It is only down to sheer luck that the officer did not suffer more serious injuries.

"Despite the injury and the shock of the attack, he returned to work the following day."