East Lancs police officer ‘shot on her sixth shift’

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: PC Suzanne Hudson PC Suzanne Hudson

A POLICE officer from Pendle who suffered serious injuries when she was shot as she answered a routine call has told a jury she was only on her sixth shift as a 'frontline officer' when it happened.

PC Suzanne Hudson, 33, was giving evidence at the trial of James Leslie, 33, who is accused of attempting to murder her when he shot her through his front door with a sawn-off shotgun in Leeds last year.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court has heard prosecutors say that Leslie shot the officer through a glass panel before riding off on a bike, laughing and shouting to PC Hudson and her colleague, PC Richard Whiteley.

The officer needed emergency surgery on arteries in her neck after the shooting and her right hand was left a 'bloody and tangled mess', the court has heard.

PC Hudson, a former Mansfield High and Nelson and Colne College student, gave evidence for about 15 minutes before the court adjourned for the day.

She explained how she became a police community support officer in 2008 and a police officer in 2010.

From 2010 to 2013 she was part of a neighbourhood policing team but she had transferred to a response unit – described in court as ‘frontline policing’ – just a few days before she was shot on Cardigan Road in Leeds in the early hours of December 4, last year.

The officer said the transfer to the response unit was something she had always wanted to do.

“It’s what most people join the job for,” she said in response to questions from Richard Wright QC, prosecuting. “I wanted to gain experience and it’s a different kind of policing."

Asked by Mr Wright how long she had been in this role, she said: “That was my sixth shift as a response officer.”

PC Hudson explained to the jury how she and PC Whiteley had been called to what she had been told was a ‘neighbour dispute’ in Headingley, Leeds.

The officer explained how she and her colleague had gone into a property which backs on to Leslie’s flat to find out more information about a bottle which had been thrown through a window there. Mr Wright said how PC Hudson was shot when she went to investigate.

Leslie has admitted possessing a prohibited weapon and causing criminal damage. But he denies attempting to murder PC Hudson and an alternative charge of causing her grievous bodily harm with intent. He also denies poss-essing a shotgun with intent to endanger life.

PC Hudson is expected to give evidence today as the trial continues.

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