Manchester

Greater Manchester PC tells attacker 'people like him cannot win'

Anthony Woodhead-Robertson Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Anthony Woodhead-Robertson was jailed for 12 years and six months

A PC who was struck with a wine bottle has told a court she returned to work before her injuries healed to show her attacker "people like him cannot win".

PC Joanne Aitken was hit three times by Anthony Woodhead-Robertson after he tried to grab a woman as she walked past him in Moston on 15 May 2018.

Thanking the passers-by who ran to her aid, she told Manchester Crown Court it was a "vicious, unprovoked attack".

Woodhead-Robertson admitted assault and was jailed for 12 years and six months.

The 39-year-old, formerly of Floral Court, Salford, also pleaded guilty to sexual assault, indecent exposure and outraging public decency, charges which related to separate incidents.

Greater Manchester Police said Woodhead-Robertson, now of HMP Manchester, drank a large amount of alcohol before being spotted on St Mary's Road attempting to grab the woman.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption PC Aitken suffered injuries to her head and arm in the attack

Called to the scene, PC Aitken asked him to lower a bottle of wine he was holding, but instead he struck her on the back of the head with it.

The court heard he struck two more times, before PC Aitken was able to hit his legs with her baton.

He then tried to run away, but she "rugby tackled" him to the ground and held him there with the help of members of the public until other officers arrived.

In a victim statement, PC Aitken told the court there were "clearly people watching, yet he was still capable of hitting me forcibly and repeatedly".

"It begs the question of what he would have been capable of had this been in a more secluded area with no witnesses."

She added that she "made the decision to return to duty after three weeks off, despite not being fully over my injuries, just to show that people like him cannot win".

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