SENIOR officers have welcomed the five-year prison sentence given to a drug dealer who slashed an undercover cop's throat.

Aaron Gray attacked the officer when he tried to arrest him in Middlesbrough town centre in June last year.

The cop suffered a four-inch slash to his throat when the 31-year-old pulled a knife on him while he pinned to the ground by two other men.

FULL STORY: Middlesbrough drug dealer slashed police officer's throat during arrest

Today, he was jailed at Teesside Crown Court after admitting carrying out the brutal attack.

The Northern Echo: Aaron GrayAaron Gray

Welcoming the sentence, Cleveland Police’s Head of Crime John Bent said: “Our officers and staff work tirelessly to keep our communities safe – often in very challenging circumstances - and any form of assault against them will simply never ever be tolerated.

“The officer received immediate and on-going welfare and wellbeing support from the force and thankfully he has made a full recovery from what must have been a very traumatic experience.

“Gray has already spent months on remand and he will now spend a further lengthy period in prison where he will have time to reflect on his actions and their consequences.”

Gray fled from the area and an urgent manhunt got underway, with the suspect being arrested in Newcastle on June 23.

He was charged that night with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and with possession of an offensive weapon.

Gray initially pleaded not guilty and was remanded to appear at Teesside Crown Court on Monday this week where he pleaded guilty.

He also admitted two other offences, 

possession of a Class a drug and possession of an offensive weapon from an earlier incident on May 12 when he was caught selling crack cocaine on Peel Street in Middlesbrough.

Gray was carrying a Samurai sword with a 60cm blade at the time of his arrest.

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