Brave police officer commended as Desborough thug who shot him in the face is jailed

The incident chilled the county's chief constable to his core

Monday, 14th June 2021, 4:41 pm

A brave police officer recalled the moment he was shot in the face THREE times by a gun-wielding thug in Desborough.

Sergeant Dave Cayton was deployed to an incident in Neuville Way in the town on November 20 last year after a report of a man with weapons, and made his way inside a house to ensure he couldn't injure anyone.

But as he began to walk up the stairs Marshall Coe, 40, appeared with a pistol which fired metal pellets and shot Sgt Cayton three times in the face before he could turn away.

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Marshall Coe.

Thankfully Sgt Cayton recovered from his physical injuries but the scars on his face remain to this day.

Last month Coe was convicted of wounding with intent and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was given an extended sentence of 11 years with the custodial element set at eight years and eight months.

Speaking about the incident, Sgt Cayton said: “Everything slowed down. 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.

Sgt Dave Cayton.

"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 he was experiencing, Sgt Cayton tried to disarm Coe, who by this point had also pulled out a knife, by deploying his Taser. Eventually, Coe backed down and was arrested.

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

There, a scan showed just how fortunate he was not to have suffered more serious injures.

Sgt Cayton's scar.

Sgt Cayton said: "I had a CT scan and consultants told me I had a ball bearing in the side of my head and another in the top of my head.

"It was only when I saw the CT images and I could see the bright white ball showing up for myself that I accepted I'd actually been shot and this, potentially, could be quite serious.

"One scan showed a ball bearing was millimetres from a very thin piece of bone between my nose and brain so it, potentially, could have been life-threatening.

"I just feel very lucky not to be blind or potentially dead."

At the end of the court case, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo recommended Sgt Cayton for “the highest possible commendation” from the chief constable.

Chief constable Nick 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 rollout 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 eleven 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.”