A FORMER soldier suffering from post traumatic stress disorder who stabbed a police officer as he tried to arrest him has been spared jail.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Shaun Aspin, 29, had been medically discharged from a seven-year stint in the 1st Battalion Duke of Lancaster Regiment following an injury sustained in Afghanistan.

Prosecutor Alisha Kaye said Aspin had called police to his home on Birch Lane, Bradford, on December 19 last year, with officers attending with concerns for his safety. On arrival, they found him sat on the sofa with one kitchen knife in his hand and another in his lap. As they tried to detain him, Aspin swore at officers and approached one with the knife in his hands.

In the struggle that ensued, the officer was stabbed with the knife, suffering a four-inch gash to his arm and a cut to his thigh.

Ray Singh, mitigating, said Aspin had been diagnosed with PTSD and had been undergoing counselling for depression at the time of the offence. He said: “He knows he needs help. He simply cannot recall the incident, that is what is worrying him more than anything else.”

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, said imposing an immediate prison sentence would be an “unjust disposal” of the case. He suspended a 14-month jail term for two years, ordering Aspin to complete a 30-day rehabilitation requirement. He added: “If anything like this happens again, you would have to go to prison for the protection of others.”