Man jailed for attempted murder of police officer and robbery of Bracknell betting shop

13/12/2010

A man who was released from prison on licence only days before stabbing a police officer in Bracknell and robbing a betting shop has been jailed for life at a hearing at Reading Crown Court on 10 December.

Kes Nattriss, 28, of no fixed abode, had pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon, but was found guilty of attempted murder after a trial at Reading Crown Court which ended on 2 December. At the sentencing hearing last Friday he was jailed for life for attempting to murder a police officer, with a determinate sentence of 25 years. He also received life imprisonment for robbery, plus a four year sentence for being in possession of an offensive weapon, to be served concurrently.

On 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 the bookmaker, in Birch Hill, Bracknell, shortly before midday. He 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 wont be a seen' (sic). The staff member asked Nattriss whether he was joking, to which he replied 'no'.

Detective Constable (DC) 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 DC Lisa Child the situation and the fact that they needed to call for assistance. She immediately left the shop. However, moments later she saw Nattriss leaving the shop followed by DC Simms, who tried to arrest him.

During the arrest attempt, DC Simms recalled being lunged at and Nattriss running off. DC Child noticed blood on DC Simms' shirt and immediately thought that he had been stabbed. The pair went back into Corals where DC Child administered first aid before being joined by paramedics. The seriously injured officer was taken to Frimley Park Hospital, where the attending consultant realised that his condition was critical and required immediate emergency surgery to stop a severe bleed to the abdomen.

Meanwhile, officers from Thames Valley conducted an area search for the offender, along with the police helicopter and dog unit. As more information developed, the search widened, in particular to Wokingham railway station. Officers sitting in an unmarked car spotted Nattriss get off a train at approximately 1.30pm and into a taxi, which they followed, while providing a running commentary to officers from the Tactical Firearms Team. The vehicle was stopped in Nine Mile Ride and Nattriss was arrested. A knife was found in some bushes not far from Corals.

CPS reviewing lawyer Adrian Roberts said: 'DC Simms was subjected to a wicked and unnecessary knife attack by Kes Nattriss, who had been released from a lengthy prison sentence for other serious offences only days before the incident, and knew his victim was a police officer.

'This attack has caused a great deal of distress to DC Simms, who nearly died, and to his family and colleagues. Only the skill of the surgeon saved his life. We would like to commend the bravery of DC Simms, who was doing his duty to the public by trying to arrest a man for a very serious offence. By doing so, he placed his own life in jeopardy.

'Nattriss has been brought before the courts and the jury has convicted him of attempted murder, having concluded that he intended to kill the officer when he stabbed him. We will prosecute people who carry knives and use them to cause harm, intimidate others and most importantly, to threaten the lives of decent people doing their legitimate business.

'Today Nattriss has been sent to prison for many years and justice has been served. We hope this outcome means that DC Simms can now move forward with his life.'

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Tolmie 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. 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.'