POLICE HONOUR BRAVE OFFICERS AND LIFE SAVERS
A man who thwarted an attempt to assassinate a spiritual leader and a doctor who calmed a woman who was armed with a knife have been honoured by police.
Baldev Singh and Dr Lucy Pearson were among police officers, staff and other members of the public who have gone “the extra mile” to be handed awards this week by Leicestershire Chief Constable Simon Cole
Mr Cole has presided over the two-day celebration of bravery, dedication to duty and selflessness on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
The people who were awarded honours included officers who had brought serial criminals to justice or tackled dangerous armed men, as well as members of the public who put themselves in harm’s way.
Dr Pearson received a bravery award for her calm response when a man who had been stabbed came into her surgery – closely followed by the woman who had inflicted the wound.
The incident, at the Oakham Medical Practice, in Cold Overton Road, happened in February 2014.
She said: “I didn’t have time to stop and think about it.
“I could see the woman still had the knife, so I asked her to put it down.
“I asked her a couple of times and then she did put it on the floor.
“I moved her away from it and did my best to keep her calm until the police arrived.”
Mr Singh, 51, travelled from India to receive a commendation for his life-saving efforts.
He was at the forefront of a group of worshippers at the Namdhari Sikh Gurdwara, in Linden Street, Spinney Hills, Leicester, in August 2013 when a man took out an axe and attempted to assassinate His Holiness Srisat Guru Uday Singh Ji.
The Guru is worldwide leader of the Namdhari Sikh Faith and was in the UK from India for the first time on a highly publicised visit.
Police said Mr Singh’s brave intervention saved the life of His Holiness, who received a broken arm and a cut to his nose in the attack.
Led by Mr Singh, who is secretary to His Holiness at the headquarters of the Sri Bhaini Sahib, in Punjab, the group managed to disarm the man, who was later convicted of attempted murder and was jailed for 17 years.
Mr Singh said: “I had a feeling that something wasn’t right but no one had any idea that something like this would happen within a religious ceremony.
“If I hadn’t intervened the situation would have been very different and there would have been a lot of upset within the community. It was my natural instinct to save His Holiness Sri Sat Guru Uday Singh Ji
“I feel very happy and appreciative about receiving this award. We would like to thank the Force for all the hard work that has been put into the case and subsequent legal proceedings."
Ranjit Singh Flora, of the Namdhari Sikh community in Leicester, said: “Baldev was the first person to get up and defend His Holiness. He is a very brave man.”
Other highlights of the awards were:
Detective Constable Mark Beniston and Detective Constable Jonathan Davies tracked down a gang which had burgled a number of Leicester places of worship, chiefly mosques, between January and March last year.
Pc Anthony Moffatt and Detective Officer Glenn Freeman received an award for saving the life of a woman who attempted to kill herself in Leicester’s Euston Street custody suite.
Pc Catherine Burnham, of Keyham Lane police station, rescued a 90-year-old, whom she knew to have dementia, from his burning home.
The investigator of the year award went to Detective Sergeant David Speight, of the force’s complex crime unit.
He was commended for a number of successful investigations, including serious assaults and robberies.
He said: “I came into the job to go head to head with the bad guys and bring them to justice.”
A group of firearms officers received a commendation for outstanding work for tackling a man who had stabbed another man to death.
The honoured officers were constables Mark Bush, Nickolas Holley, Chris Chapman, Wayne Killen and Andrew Mee.
They were called to Factory Road in Hinckley in January last year where a man had stabbed another man to death and the victim’s terrified girlfriend had jumped out of the bedroom window with her 14-month old son in her arms.
The killer also started a fire inside the house. Despite the flames, officers went into the house to confront the man, using a stun grenade in an attempt to subdue him. Other officers obtained a fire-fighting hose and brought the fire under control.
James Burton, 32, of Earl Shilton, was found guilty of murder at Leicester Crown Court in August last year and jailed for 30 years.
Pc Chapman said: “We are a close team and our training prepares us for every situation.”
The title of police community support officer of the year was handed to Ranjit Sonigra, who works at Leicester’s Spinney Hill Park police station.
The Saville Trophy, which rewards members of the Special Constabulary, was handed to airline pilot and part-time volunteer officer, Special Sergeant John Blagden, who is based at Market Harborough.
Mr Cole said: “I thoroughly look forward to these award ceremonies. They are one of the highlights of my year.
"They allow all of us the opportunity to formally celebrate and acknowledge the hard work, dedication and courage displayed by police officers, police staff and members of the public.
"I am always taken aback when I hear of the acts of bravery and kindness that happen in in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland every day.”