News, Culture & Society

Criminal sobbed in mugshot after breaking officer’s leg

A criminal who broke the leg of a police officer trying to arrest him on Christmas Day was today jailed for two years and eight months.

Aaron Birks, 23, attacked Sergeant Nigel Roberts when he was trying to resist arrest in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, on Christmas Day last year. 

The long-service officer from East Staffordshire local policing team was rushed to Queen’s Hospital in Burton where he was told his leg had been broken and he required surgery.

The seriousness of the injury has sidelined him from full duties until the summer.

Sergeant Nigel Roberts (pictured) was told his leg was broken following the attack in Burton-upon-Trent 

Birks, of Hanbury, Burton, was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent on December 2017 and admitted the charge at magistrates’ court.

He was today jailed for two years and eight months on prison at Stafford Crown Court and Sergeant Nigel Roberts witnessed the sentencing.

He said in a statement: ‘Unfortunately putting ourselves in harm’s way to protect the communities of Staffordshire is a very real part of the job.

‘My officers and I receive the best training on how to resolve situations peacefully and without incident.

‘Unfortunately on some occasions not everything goes to plan and injuries like mine occur.

‘I’m glad this incident has now been resolved and I can focus exclusively on recovering so that I can get back to the job I love.

‘I would like to thank all my colleagues at Staffordshire Police for their support since the injury, it’s a great reminder of the support you receive as part of the police family.’

Chief superintendent Jeff Moore, the head of neighbourhood and partnerships, said: ‘This is a clear reminder that policing requires sacrifice and courage every day in serving the public.

‘In this incident, Sergeant Roberts was helping keep our communities safe when he was subject to a vicious attack.

Sgt Roberts was unable to work

An x-ray showed the leg break

An x-ray (right) showed the fracture and Sgt Roberts (left) was unable to work after his leg swelled up 

‘We have seen an increase in the number of assaults on police officers in the last 12 months.

‘This can have a lasting effect on officers, and their families, as they deal with the physical and psychological effects.

‘Incidents like these also impact negatively on morale within the force as officers should never be subject to any level of violence.

‘I hope the sentence handed down in this case will serve as a deterrent to others who think it is acceptable to resist arrest and be violent towards our brave officers.’