United Kingdom

Pregnant policewoman speaks of gang attack while off duty 

A policewoman told how she feared she would lose her unborn baby as a gang of youths attacked her and her stabbed her officer husband.

PCs Joanna and Jack Wilber suffered a 'sustained attack' at the hands of an aggressive group after they stepped in to help a woman screaming for help in her car.

The couple - who work for Greater Manchester Police in Oldham - have since been nominated for a national police bravery award by their force.

Speaking for the first time, Mrs Wilber, 35, told Sky News: 'It was horrendous. I can't tell you how scared I was'. 

PCs Joanna and Jack Wilber suffered a 'sustained attack' at the hands of an aggressive group after they stepped in to help a woman screaming for help in her car

The couple were attacked in September last year when, off-duty, they leapt to the defence of woman who had been surrounded by a group of nine youths in her car.

Mr Wilber, 28, was stabbed in the back and in his arm with what he believed to be either a screwdriver or a knife.

The thugs also ended up breaking some of his ribs as he was violently punched, when his wife tried to intervene. 

She said: 'I stood in front of Jack and I was pleading with them because you could see I was heavily pregnant. I was saying to them: "Go away, I'm pregnant. Just leave us alone."'

But the group continued to attack the couple, kicking and punching Mrs Wilber so hard it left an imprint of a trainer on her thigh.

The couple - who work for Greater Manchester Police in Oldham - have since been nominated for a national police bravery award by their force

When the terrifying incident finished however, Mrs Wilber was left fearing that the youths could have hurt her unborn baby.

'I went to the hospital that evening. I wasn't sure if I had been kicked in the stomach,' she said.

After an agonising wait doctors told the couple that their baby had not been harmed in the attack. 

'It was one of the scariest things I've ever been through. We wanted this baby so much,' said Mrs Wilber.

Mr and Mrs Wilber, who have been married for almost three years, welcomed their baby daughter in February. 

The terrifying incident left Mrs Wilber fearing that the youths had hurt her unborn baby. After an agonising wait at hospital, doctors told the couple their baby was unharmed

Greater Manchester's Police Federation said the officers have now been nominated for a police bravery award after suffering 'horrific injuries in the process of protecting a member of the public'.

All the suspects were arrested and the police investigation into the incident is ongoing, it added.

The federation's chairman Stu Berry said the incident 'really proves that GMP officers are never off duty'.

'Jack and Joanna realised that this woman was clearly in trouble and in the best traditions of policing ran towards the danger to protect her,' he said.

'What a brave thing to do - they were up against an armed gang but protected this woman and did everything they could to get their assailants to justice.  

The National Police Bravery Awards take place in London in July.

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