A drunk man grabbed a police officer in the crotch while he was being treated at Lister Hospital.

Oatcake baker Gareth Sherwin, 47, now of Outclough Road, Brindley Ford, Stoke-on-Trent, made a string of sexualised comments to male and female police officers following his arrest for being drunk and disorderly, culminating in his assault of a female officer.

Police had been called to an address in Homestead Road, Rickmansworth, at around 5am on September 22, 2020, following reports of a row between Sherwin and a friend.

They found the defendant very drunk and, after pacifying the situation, sent him home.

When they came outside, the same officers found him lying in the road in front of a refuse lorry. He then became abusive, and was arrested as a result.

While he was being searched he tried to stroke the hair of the female officer, so he was handcuffed and escorted to the police van by her male colleague. As he was being led there, he flung his head backwards to headbutt the officer in the face.

As the officer tried to bring Sherwin to the ground, he accidentally struck his head on the cage door at the rear of the van, cutting it open and requiring treatment at Lister Hospital, Stevenage, where two different PCs took over.


Sherwin became more sexualised, and he told the female officer she was beautiful, licking his lips and putting his tongue out before asking for oral sex. On several occasions, he pulled his pants down and exposed his penis.

His behaviour escalated as he tried and failed to grab the groin of the male officer, before managing to get his fingers through the frame of the hospital bed and touching the female PC in the crotch.

In his defence, Sherwin said he was ashamed of his behaviour and asked to say sorry to the police officers in open court.

He recognised he needed assistance with his drinking, which stemmed from sexual abuse he suffered from a social worker as a child.

He had previously pleaded guilty to assault of an emergency worker, attempted sexual assault, and sexual assault.

Recorder Ian Stern KC said: “Obviously this is disgraceful behaviour and I am somewhat relieved to see you recognise this and are ashamed and disgusted by your behaviour.”

He sentenced Sherwin to four months in prison, suspended for a year, and a fine of £600. Sherwin was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for seven years.