Man in court accused of attempted murder of police officer

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A man accused of attempting to murder a police officer by repeatedly stabbing him in the abdomen and face has made his first appearance at court.

William Ashton, 39, formerly of Briarwood Drive, Bispham, Blackpool, now living at Lancashire Care NHS Trust’s Guild Park Lodge psychiatric hospital, Whittingham, Preston, is charged with the attempted murder of PC Peter Lucas.

PC Lucas, 47, an urgent response officer with Lancashire police was allegedly attacked by Ashton after seeing him in a parked van on Westmorland Avenue, Cleveleys, and speaking to him around 10am on November 2 last year.

Ashton is also accused of possessing a knife as an offensive weapon on Westmorland Avenue, possessing a pickaxe as an offensive weapon in Premier Way, Poulton Industrial Estate, and affray in Poulton on November 2.

He appeared in the dock, flanked by one security officer and two hospital workers, and spoke only to confirm his name age and address during the 10-minute court hearing.

Prosecutor, Adrian Hollamby, said Ashton was currently living at Guild Lodge psychiatric hospital but asked for him to be remanded in custody to a prison.

The prosecutor said that if a tribunal released him from the hospital he would not be in custody.

Defence lawyer, Mark Williams, asked for him to be bailed to live at the hospital. He said a consultant psychiatrist’s report on Ashton had stated it would not be appropriate to remand him in custody for his mental health welfare.

Ashton was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on February 22 by District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.