Manchester

Sentence increase for Wigan man who stabbed PC

Stephen Unsworth Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Stephen Unsworth has been handed a further two years by judges at London’s Royal Courts

A robber whose attack on a police officer was only halted when his knife got stuck in the PC's stab vest has had his prison sentence increased.

Stephen Unsworth stabbed PC Stephen Lamb repeatedly as he fled from a shop robbery in Wigan in October 2018.

He was jailed for eight years six months at Bolton Crown Court in April.

However, the Court of Appeal agreed with the Attorney General's Office that the 36-year-old's sentence was too lenient and increased it by two years.

PC Lamb and his colleague PC Andrew McCoombes were given bravery awards for tackling Unsworth, after being called to AM to PM Stores on Gidlow Lane on 7 October.

They spotted the 36-year-old climbing out from under metal shutters, carrying a basket of stolen cash, alcohol and cigarettes.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption PC Lamb and PC McCoombes were stabbed after they chased Stephen Unsworth

Greater Manchester Police said Unsworth, of Constantia Street in Wigan, stabbed PC Lamb with such force the blade of the kitchen knife became lodged in his stab vest and snapped.

Det Con Danny Ritchie said he was "only saved from serious or fatal injury by his body armour" and the bravery of PC McCoombes, who suffered injuries to his hand in the attack.

The officers received the John Egerton Trophy for Bravery, which is awarded by the force annually in memory of PC John Egerton, who was killed on duty in 1982.

In April, Unsworth admitted three counts of robbery, imprisonment, wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon in court.

Judge Lord Justice Simon increased his sentence to 10 years and six months at the Court of Appeal.

After the hearing, Solicitor General Lucy Frazer MP said Unsworth was a "serial offender and it was right for the Court of Appeal to increase his sentence".

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