A convicted murderer jailed for at least five years for a ‘truly terrifying’ hammer attack on police officers has had his minimum term slashed by appeal judges.
Afghan-born Jamshid Piruz, 34, served six years in a Dutch jail for the savage murder of a female tenant in 2006 and was released in 2013, the Court of Appeal heard on August 17.
He came to the UK for Christmas in 2015, but missed his return flight from Gatwick in January the following year.
Days later, he was tracked to a garage in Crawley, which he had broken into and stolen tools from.
But when police tried to arrest him, he launched a ferocious attack on two officers – swinging a hammer and hitting one of them three times.
Officers tried to taser him, but it only made berserk Piruz more angry and he was only detained after several officers tackled him.
Police released video footage from an officer’s body-worn camera of the incident, which attracted national media attention.
He admitted burglary, affray and two counts of attempted GBH and – due to the previous murder – was sentenced to life at Lewes Crown Court in January.
Piruz was ordered to serve at least five years, but despite describing the attack as ‘truly terrifying’, appeal judges on August 17, cut that to three years.
Due to the time the Dutch citizen has already served, the decision means he could be back on the streets in less than two-and-a-half years.
However, Mr Justice Holroyde, sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Sweeney, stressed that three years is the minimum Piruz will serve.
He will not be freed until the Parole Board is satisfied he no longer poses a danger to the public.
His term was cut because the crown court judge had not given him enough credit for pleading guilty and other technical factors.
Giving judgment at the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Holroyde said Piruz had suffered a traumatic childhood in Afghanistan.
He witnessed the murder of his parents and moved to Holland, where he gained citizenship.
He was in the UK at Christmas 2015 in order to visit relatives, but behaved strangely while he was here.
At Gatwick, he spat at a member of staff and was hauled before a court the following day.
After he was set free, he went to Crawley, where he burgled and stayed in the garage.
When police arrived, he launched a terrifying attack on the two officers without any provocation.
Police Constable Jessica Chick was cornered and had to dodge blows as he swung the hammer at her.
Her colleague, PC Stuart Young, heard her screams for help and intervened - putting himself between them to protect PC Chick.
He struck Piruz several times with his baton, but the attacker continued, hitting him three times with the hammer, but causing only a minor injury to his neck.
“Unsurprisingly, the officers were in fear for their lives,” said Mr Justice Holroyde.
“They suffered symptoms of disturbed sleep and anxiety.”
The judge said the crown court judge’s assessment of the seriousness of the offences was correct and the sentence was only too long for technical reasons.
He continued: “Serious injury was avoided only through the actions of the officers, the protection of their stab vests and by good fortune.
“It was not for want of trying on Piruz’s part.
“The offences were gravely aggravated by his previous conviction for murder.”
Piruz will now serve a minimum of three years from the date of original sentence in January before he can be considered for release by the Parole Board.
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