Rawtenstall theft suspect dragged policeman through broken bus shelter

Lancashire Telegraph: William Bridge William Bridge

A POLICE officer was injured when he was dragged through a broken bus shelter after he told a drunken man he was arresting him for stealing, a court heard.

William Bridge, 36, had been handcuffed by the officer near the shelter, where a pane of glass was missing. Bridge pulled away and pulled the officer through the gap, injuring his arm.

The victim also suffered pain in his lower back and went to Burnley General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a susp-ected torn muscle.

Prosecutor John Wood-ward told Burnley Crown Court: “He has been off work some little time.”Bridge was in breach of two suspended sentences, one for a knife offence, at the time and is now in prison.

Bridge, of Bacup Road, Rawtenstall, who wiped away tears throughout the hearing, had admitted theft and resisting police, and was jailed for a total of 66 weeks.

Mr Woodward said Bridge was wanted over stealing sunglasses, gloves, and wheel nuts, worth a total of £350, from a car, on July 26.

A police officer saw him in Market Street, Bacup, two days later and approached him and told him he was being arrested for theft from the vehicle. He handcuffed Bridge, but Bridge pulled away and pulled the officer through the gap in the bus shelter.

Mr Woodward said Bridge was interviewed, accepted he had done wrong, and apologised for injuring the officer.

Bridge had 85 previous convictions and was in breach of two suspended sentences – 10 months, suspended for two years. for inflicting grievous bodily harm, imposed in June; and 26 weeks, suspended for a year, imposed by magistrates for driving whilst disqualified.

Richard Taylor, for Bridge, said sadly his pre-sentence report did not make particularly good reading.

He said: “The defendant has significant difficulties that need addressing.

“He is very distressed about his position. He is very upset.”

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