A Croydon man who resisted arrest as his accomplice fly-kicked another police officer pleaded guilty in court today.

Martin Payne, 20, of Brighton Road, tried to escape police after his car was stopped routinely in Merton on November 17.

Whilst Payne wrestled a male officer on the floor, passenger Kursan Euell, 20, kung-fu kicked an assisting female constable, causing head injuries.

Whilst Euell, of Catford, managed to escape, the male officer detained Payne, suffering cuts in the process.

Today (December 14) Payne admitted to one count of actual bodily harm and driving without a licence or insurance at Kingston crown court.

Euell pleaded guilty to two counts of ABH.

Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, OCU Commander for Roads and Transport Policing and Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar, South West BCU Commander said in a joint statement: “The impact of this despicable assault has been considerable, not only on the two officers involved but on their families, friends and colleagues.

“Whilst police officers are rightly expected to handle difficult and hostile situations on a regular basis, we do not accept that assaults are part of the job, and we feel that our officers deserve the protection of the law in order to do their jobs effectively.

“We are pleased that the two suspects have been brought before the court swiftly thanks to the hard work of Detective Constable Jean-Paul Ricot-Gomez and the rest of the team.

“We would also like to publicly thank the member of public who stepped in to assist at the time and his actions will be recognised at a formal commendation ceremony.

“We are also grateful to the many members of public and colleagues from the emergency services who passed on their best wishes to our officers, having seen the video of the incident in the media. We really value your support.”

They pair be sentenced at the same court on Monday, January 21.

Footage of the incident, filmed by a former Croydon FC footballer, spread on social media, prompting shocked reactions as many criticised bystanders for failing to assist the police.

Chairman of the Met Police Federation Ken Marsh said: "Are we now in a society where, if we think we can't detain somebody, we just let them go? It's just not worth it.

"We're going to come to a point where we're going to start pushing messages out to our colleagues: 'Risk-assess it dynamically and, if you think you can't detain a person, just let them go.'

"We don't come to work to get assaulted, and if we're not going to be backed up in what we're doing then what is the point?"

Following today's events Charlotte Chirico, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “The CPS looked at the evidence provided to us by police, which included shocking camera footage.

“Because of the injuries suffered by the male officer, along with the deliberate way Kersan Euell took a run-up before launching a flying kick on a female officer, we pursued charges of actual bodily harm.

"Both attackers have now pleaded guilty to ABH against both police officers, which reflects the severity of the attack.

“I hope this case acts as a deterrent to anyone who might try to assault a police officer thinking they will get off lightly.”