Sheffield man accused of PC Lisa Bates axe attack to be assessed by psychiatrists

Nathan Sumner

Nathan Sumner

A man accused of attempting to murder a Sheffield police officer with an axe will be assessed by psychiatrists next week, a court heard.

Nathan Sumner appeared via video link from HMP Wakefield for a brief hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday afternoon.

Sumner, aged 35, of Plowright Close, Gleadless Valley, is alleged to have attempted to murder PC Lisa Bates on Wednesday, April 13.

David Brooke, representing Sumner, asked for no charges to be put to his client at Friday’s hearing while medical issues are dealt with.

“He is going to be assessed by psychiatrists by next Tuesday,” he said.

Mr Brooke said he hopes he will be sent a medical report addressing the defendant’s fitness to make pleas in the next four weeks.

He said he hoped a trial ‘will be avoided’.

Mr Brooke said: “I have not really been given full instructions. His state is still very agitated.”

Sumner has been charged with 13 counts – attempting to murder PC Lisa Bates, six counts of assault by beating, a section 47 assault, two counts of making threats to kill, affray, threatening a person with a blade in a public place and production of cannabis.

Sumner is alleged to have assaulted two police officers on Plowright Close in Gleadless Valley and another three at the Co-op in nearby Blackstock Road. Lisa Bates was one of two officers who were attacked after being called to a report of a ‘domestic incident’ in a flat in Plowright Close at around 7.50pm.

Mr Brooke said there have been ‘a series of allegations about his behaviour in the Co-op and at the police station’.

Samuel Green, prosecuting, said a shorter new indictment is to be prepared reduced to two counts - one of attempted murder and an alternative of Section 18 assault.

He said: “The behaviour referenced in the other counts will all go in as evidence as context in any event.”

Members of Sumner’s family were in the public gallery for the hearing, which lasted for around 15 minutes.

The next hearing will take place on August 12, with a two-week trial date scheduled to start on October 12.

Judge Julian Goose QC told Sumner he will remain in custody until the next hearing later this year.