Former prison guard threatened to commit suicide after violent incident in Worksop

A former prison guard threatened to take his own life when he witnessed a violent incident that triggered his post-traumatic stress disorder in Worksop, a court has heard.
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A “distressed and desperate” Mark Roberts called 999 twice just before midnight on November 22, after seeing a man assault a woman, said prosecutor Andrew Conboy.

In the first call he said he had no intention to harm himself but wanted to harm the man, while in the second he did express an intention to harm himself.

Officers found him laid on his back in a field by the Three-Legged Stool pub, with a knife.

Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.
Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.

He was originally released on bail on condition he contacted the mental health services but he failed to turn up to appointments in Bassetlaw.

Roberts said he would never hurt anyone and "certain things placed him into self-destruct mode" but he couldn't remember what the trigger was.

He admitted not taking the medication he was supposed to and the court heard he was cautioned in January 2022 for possessing a blade in a public place.

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Christopher Wall, mitigating, said he deserved maximum credit for his guilty plea and only has one drink-driving conviction in 2010 so is effectively of good character.

“What we have here is a man in a very desperate position,” he said. “Had the emergency services not attended properly no doubt he wouldn't be here today.”

He said Roberts worked as a prison guard at HMP Ranby where he experienced “a number of horrific years” until he was no longer able to cope in 2018.

The court heard his life has spiralled out of control afterwards and he was homeless for two years “with no support whatsoever”.

“Since the commission of this offence there have been interventions,” Mr Wall said. “He has a new address in Retford and is now receiving help and support.

"He is greatly concerned about the prospect of prison.”

Roberts, 35, of Spital Hill, admitted possessing a blade in a public place, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

He received a two-month prison sentence, suspended for one year, and was ordered to pay a £154 surcharge.