A POLICE detective has vowed to “relentlessly pursue violent offenders” after successfully putting a machete-wielding attacker behind bars.

Dan Jeffries, Det Sgt for Essex Police, has spoken out following the sentencing of 23-year-old Clacton thug Liam Lofting.

The attacker, of North Road, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed for eight years at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday July 15.

The experienced police officer, who was involved in the investigation, has now promised to continue hunting down knife crime criminals.

Mr Jeffries said: “Knife crime devastates lives and we will relentlessly pursue violent offenders such as Lofting and do everything in our power to put them behind bars.

“Across Essex we are driving down weapons and violence with injury offences through enforcement, education and intervention.

“But we also need the community’s help to tell us if they know someone who is carrying a weapon.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Lofting launched his terrifying attack on his 22-year-old victim on May 25 last year, as he entered a block of flats in Marine Parade West, Clacton.

Armed with a machete, Lofting stabbed the man through the arm with the blade, causing life threatening injuries.

The victim, who is believed to have known Lofting and was known by the attacker, managed to flee and was taken to hospital by a friend.

Lofting subsequently went on the run following the vicious assault but was caught and arrested on June 5 by police officers.

Det Sgt Jeffries added: “The victim suffered an horrific wound to his arm, which very nearly claimed his life.

“Thankfully, he survived, but he has been left with life-changing injuries and the psychological impact can also not be underestimated.

“Officers from various teams across Essex Police worked to catch Lofting and gather the evidence against him, which gave him no option but to change his plea to guilty.”