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A Man Who Stabbed A Police Officer After Robbing A Wigan Shop Has His Sentence Extended

A man who stabbed a police officer multiple times after robbing a convenience store has had his jail term extended by two years. 

Stephen Michael Unsworth, also known as Stephen Hewlett, 36 of no fixed address was sentenced to four years in prison at Bolton Crown Court on 1 April 2019 after pleading guilty to section 18 assault. 

He had also been sentenced to four-and-a-half years for robbery offences to run consecutively to the section 18 sentence. 

Police appealed his sentence for assault on the grounds of it being too lenient. 

Judges at London’s Royal Courts of Justice today Friday 7 June 2019 upheld the appeal and increased the sentence for assault to six years, bringing Unsworth’s total sentence to 10 years and six months in prison.

On Sunday October 7 2018, Unsworth burst into a shop on Gidlow Lane, Wigan – holding two shop workers at knifepoint before stealing cash, cigarettes and alcohol. 

Seconds after fleeing the shop, he was spotted by PC Stephen Lamb and PC Andrew McCoombes, responding to a 999 call by a member of public who’d seen a commotion inside the store. 

PC Lamb left the police car and gave chase on foot. 

After grabbing Unsworth, he felt several sharp pains in his side and realised he was being stabbed. 

PC McCoombes then exited the police car and dove on top of Unsworth, helping restrain him. 

Upon arrest, Unsworth claimed that he didn’t know the man apprehending him was a police officer, before admitting the assault and stating that he was ‘bang to rights’. 

The officer received stab wounds to his elbow, stomach and arm pit which required hospital treatment. 

Detective Constable Danny Ritchie of GMP’s Wigan District said: “Our officer courageously tackled a known, armed offender who had just moments earlier subjected two shop workers to a terrifying ordeal at knifepoint. 

“The officer was only saved from serious or fatal injury by his body armour and the bravery of his fellow officer, whose quick-thinking helped restrain Unsworth on the ground. 

“We welcome today’s judgement, which shows that we will not tolerate assaults on our colleagues and we will always seek the maximum sentence possible when an officer is attacked.”

PC Stephen Lamb and PC Andrew McCoombes were awarded GMP’s John Egerton Trophy for Bravery at the Chief Constable's Award Ceremony in March.

Both officers have also been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards.

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