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10 December 2010, 14:28
A man's been sentenced to life in prison for trying to murder a police officer and robbing a betting shop in the Thames Valley.
Homeless Kes Natriss had only been released from prison days before stabbing a police officer in Bracknell and robbing a betting shop.
The 28 year old's been jailed for life for attempting to murder a police officer, with a determinate sentence of 25 years. He received life imprisonment for robbery and a four year sentence for being in possession of an offensive weapon. These are to be served concurrently.
The sentences were handed down to him at Reading Crown Court on Friday 10th December.
On Wednesday 19 May 2010, only five days after being released from prison having served a sentence for committing 11 robberies at off-licences and one bookmaker, Nattriss entered Corals, Liscombe, Birch Hill, Bracknell, shortly before midday.
The 28-year-old walked up to the counter and handed over a betting slip to a member of staff who initially thought that he had completed it incorrectly. However, upon second glance, she saw that the note read: “Give me all the money and their won’t be a seen". The staff member asked Nattriss whether he was joking, to which he replied: "No."
Detective Constable Luke Simms - a plain clothed officer who was in the shop at the time with his colleague conducting enquiries into an unrelated matter- was standing nearby and caught a glimpse of the note. He quickly realised that there was a robbery in progress, recognised Nattriss from a recent police photograph and knew that he had previous convictions for armed robbery. The detective whispered to his colleague – Det Con Lisa Child – the situation and the fact that they needed to call for assistance. She immediately left the shop. However, moments later Det Con Child described Nattriss leaving the shop followed by Det Con Simms who tried to arrest him.
During the arrest attempt, Det Con Simms recalled being lunged at and Nattriss running off. Det Con Child noticed blood on Det Con Simms' shirt and immediately thought that he had been stabbed. The pair went back into Corals where Det Con Child administered first aid before being joined by paramedics. The seriously injured officer was taken to Frimley Park Hospital. The consultant who saw Det Con Simms upon admission realised that his condition was critical and required immediate emergency surgery to stop a severe bleed to the abdomen.
Meanwhile, officers from Thames Valley, along with an off-duty police officer from another Force who was in the vicinity, conducted an area search for the offender. The Force’s helicopter and dog unit also provided assistance. As more information developed, the search widened to the Wokingham area, in particular Wokingham railway station. Officers sitting in an unmarked car conducting observations for the offender spotted Nattriss get off a train at approximately 1.30pm and into a taxi. The taxi was followed by these officers who provided a running commentary to officers from the Tactical Firearms Team, who stopped the vehicle in Nine Mile Ride and arrested Nattriss. A knife was found in some bushes not far from Corals.
Det Ch Insp Steve Tolmie, senior investigating officer, said:
“I am pleased with today’s sentence which reflects the severity of the offences committed by Nattriss - a very dangerous man who deserves to be locked up for a very long time.
“I hope that today will hopefully go some way towards helping bring closure to the victims of these incidents and their families.
“Nattriss showed complete disregard for the safety of any individual who decided to confront him on the day. Detectives Luke Simms and Lisa Child acted courageously in tackling him and they should be commended for their actions. The severity of this incident illustrates the type of incidents police officers can be faced with.
“Nattriss has also shown a complete disregard for law and order, as he committed these offences only days after he was released from prison on licence.
“When released from prison, Nattriss failed to meet probation officers as required. His licence was therefore immediately revoked and he was actively being sought by the authorities. On the day he committed the offences in May this year, he knowingly carried a knife which he was willing to use.”
"The incident has made me aware of how big Thames Valley Police is and the support they can offer. I received hundreds of get well soon wishes and praise for my actions on the day in question from both colleagues and concerned members of the public. The attention I received from the welfare officer was vital in getting back to work. I was particularly impressed by colleagues at Bracknell who clubbed together to buy me a Playstation 3 to assist with my recovery at home, and a collection which allowed my partner and I to spend a few days away together to get our lives back on track. Off work for 3½ months, I returned in September, working restricted light duties.
"Mr Nattriss pleaded not guilty to offences involving my attack. The case was scheduled to be heard at Reading Crown Court on my 36th birthday. At court I was made aware that the defendant was represented by a QC and I was amazed at the efforts being made to exclude evidence from witnesses about Mr Nattriss' previous bad character. Likewise Mr Nattriss seemed to be dismissive of the legal process and avoided giving evidence. Thankfully the jury came back after deliberation with a unanimous guilty verdict. I am pleased with the result and hopefully Mr Nattriss will be given a long sentence which reflects the crimes committed. This will allow my family and me to have some closure and move on. "