A VIOLENT thug stabbed a policeman with a screwdriver as officers tried to arrest him.

Shaughan Boardman, used the screwdriver to stab PC Paul Warburton in the armpit — where his body armour did not protect him.

He also lashed out and kicked PC Warburton’s colleague, PC Paul Holding, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Police were called to Eagley Way, Eagley, on May 14 by a resident who saw two men acting suspiciously, pushing motorbikes. Officers found two Yamaha motorbikes that had been hidden.

Boardman and another man were seen crouched over the bikes and, when the officers shouted “police”, they ran off.

PC Warburton managed to grab hold of Boardman, but the 24-year-old lunged at him, stabbing him just below the waist, against his body armour.

He then thrust at him again, stabbing him near his armpit. The motorbikes had been stolen earlier that evening from homes in Darwen Road and Wilfred Street.

One was worth £2,470 and the other £800. Boardman pleaded guilty to taking the bikes without consent.

He also admitted assault causing actual bodily harm to PC Warburton and common assault on PC Holding.

The court heard that PC Warburton suffered a two-and-a-half inch wound. Alexander Langhorn, prosecuting, said: “It is only by the greatness of luck that the injury caused was not more significant.”

Boardman, of Priory Place, Tonge Moor , has a previous conviction for assaulting a police officer in 2006.

Andrew Costello, defending, said: “He is genuinely ashamed by his actions and is shocked he behaved like this to the police.”

Judge Charles Bloom sentenced him to 12 months in prison.

He said: “There is a public interest in sending out a message, particularly when using a weapon when resisting arrest.”

Det Con Stuart Round, of Bolton CID, said: “This case demonstrates the dangers faced by police officers who are just trying to do their job in their communities.

“Thankfully, the officer’s body armour did the job it was designed for and prevented a more serious injury. He has been able to make a full recovery.”