A brave police officer was left unable to hold her baby daughter after a violent thug battered her around the head up to thirty times.
PC Alison Laughlan had been responding to a street brawl in Maple Drive, Johnstone, on March 31 when Adam McManus launched the assault.
As the officer attempted to arrest the 26-year-old, who had already assaulted two of his neighbours in front of a child, he broke free and unleashed a vicious attack on her and her colleagues.
She was beaten around the head multiple times by the construction worker, who had a handcuff attached to one wrist.
Despite being hit with a baton and sprayed with Pava, McManus continued to fight officers and rugby tackled PC Laughlan before spitting in her face.
The vicious thug has now been jailed for three years after admitting four charges against him at Paisley Sheriff Court including assault to severe injury on PC Laughlan.
During sentencing, Sheriff Colin Pettigrew said: “Blows to the head, whether by punch or kick, can unfortunately be fatal.
“That they were not in this case was fortunate but you gave no thought to that.
“When the police arrived, your behaviour did not stop. If anything, it escalated.”
He also ordered McManus be placed under 12 month supervision following his release from prison due to the risk of harm he poses to the public.
Constable Laughlan, who has been a serving officer for almost eight years, was left with a concussion and severe bruising on her face, neck and ribs following the assault.
She was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley for treatment before returning home where she found she was unable to hold her eight-month-old daughter.
She said: “She crawled over to me and I didn’t go to pick her up because I didn’t feel well at all. I sat on the couch and my husband brought her over and put her next to me.
“She pulled onto my knee and when she turned to try and climb onto me to cuddle in, I just winced and almost pushed her away. She started to cry and then I got really upset.
“She was trying to grab onto me and touch my face but I just burst into tears because the side of my jaw and my nose was really sensitive from being hit.
“After we had sat for a bit, I tried to pick her up a little later and the weight of her just crippled my ribs completely.
“I had to ask my mother-in-law to look after her for the next three nights until my husband was off work again because I just couldn’t look after her.”
Recalling the assault, constable Laughlan said: “As soon as I put one cuff on him, I saw him step forward with one foot and put his body forward and threw his head back.
“It was so quick. I just remember him knocking one of my colleagues and him falling backward. The next thing I know I got hit on the right side of my head.
“He had swung the arm round that had the cuff on it. I felt it hitting the side of my head and round the back.
“The next thing I felt was my head getting bashed from side to side because he just kept hitting. I remember screaming and kind of stumbling.
“I tried to put my hands up towards my face and I was shouting at him to get back, anything to get him away from me. All I could hear was screaming and shouting.
“He just wouldn’t stop.”
McManus then turned his attention to other officers at the scene, giving PC Laughlan time to gather her bearings as she attempted to draw her baton.
But the brute soon returned and rugby tackled the petite officer, who was sent flying into a fence.
She continued: “He kept hitting around my head and I was really dazed. Then I remember getting the taste of Pava spray which one of my colleagues had used while trying to get him off of me.
“I just thought that I wasn’t getting out of this, not conscious anyway. He must have hit me between 20 and 30 times.
“I was also winded when his hand hit me just under my right rib cage.”
McManus then charged towards another officer with his hands in the air “like a wild man”.
The constable added: “At that point, I grabbed my baton and hit twice on his back but nothing happened.
“I then hit him twice in the head but it still didn’t work. I’ve only ever used my baton as a deterrent or for smashing windows before. He just kept going, kept fighting.
“At that point, there were five officers trying to bring him under control. It took seven in total to get him on the ground.
“He then threw his head round and spat all over one of the officers and was trying to grab his face.
“He then turned towards me and spat, hitting me all down my face and chest.”
After McManus was placed in the back of a police van, he continued to shout threats towards constable Laughlan.
He said: “I’m going to f****** kill you. I’m going to choke your last breath out of you.”
Reflecting on the lasting effects of the violent assault, constable Laughlan said: “It started off as a normal day, if not a bit boring because I was working by myself until my partner was due to come in at 5pm. It then turned into a disaster.
“It didn’t affect me straight away because I was focused on other things at the time. It was maybe two months ago that I realised I needed to try and speak to someone about it.
“When you go to similar calls, you start to worry whether it’s going to boil over and if the same thing was going to happen again.
“I’ve never been the kind of person that gets panicked in situations and I hate having that feeling that before anything has even started, you start doubting yourself and whether you can deal with it.
“It’s amazing how one person can totally change you.”
Constable Laughlan has been nominated for a Scottish Police Federation bravery award.