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Officer off work for months after thief resists arrest

Officer off work for months after thief resists arrest

Friday 30 November 2018

Officer off work for months after thief resists arrest

Friday 30 November 2018

A Police Sergeant has been unable to return to work five months after being assaulted as she tried to arrest a man.

Martin Vasic, 27, has been sent to prison for six months after stealing an iPhone 8+ from the JT store on the Highstreet, on 7 July this year.

Police were called when the shop staff realised the phone was missing around an hour after the incident, and after reviewing CCTV, an officer travelled to Vasic's house on Vauvert to arrest him.

But when the Police Sgt confronted Vasic outside his property to make that arrest, he resisted, managing to break one of his arms free before pushing the officer off of him. She activated her emergency help button, but the defendant fled up Vauvert. He was apprehended by another officer nearby. 

Meanwhile, a police tracking dog was able to locate the phone Vasic had stolen, which had an overall value of just over £720.

Presenting the facts in court, Crown Advocate McVeigh said the officer had been unable to return to work since shortly after the incident because of a back injury she suffered when Vasic pushed her away. The officer has had to seek medical treatment, and has most recently been seeing a spinal specialist at a hospital in Exeter. 

After his initial arrest, Vasic was bailed, but when officers searched his house on 24 July they found a small quantity of cannabis resin - 0.24g.

Finally, Vasic was also charged with failing to attend court in October, so a warrant had to be issued for his arrest.

Vasic's defence advocate, Liam Roffey, gave Judge Phillip Robey a letter from his client's GP which said the defendant did have memory problems, which could explain why he failed to appear in court. Advocate Roffey also said his client had never intended to hurt the officer. 

In sentencing, Judge Robey gave Vasic two months for stealing the iPhone, two months for assaulting a police officer, one month for the cannabis and one month for failing to surrender to custody. He also gave him one month in prison for escaping arrest, but that was to be served concurrently with the other six months.

"The background to these offences are your continuing drug or alcohol abuse, and I agree with the probation report, you're highly likely to revisit that substance abuse on your release," he said.

"Although the frequency of your offending has tailed off as of late, you are still at high risk of reoffending. In my view, immediate prison is the only realistic sentence." 

Pictured top: Guernsey's courts. 

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