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East Lancashire public and police heroes honoured
A MUM-of-one who feared she would die after her partner doused her in lighter fluid and set her on fire was among several people honoured for their bravery by police at a special ceremony.
Belinda Fay, 19, from Darwen, gave evidence in two trials which resulted in her boyfriend receiving a three-year prison sentence, before bravely agreeing to help the police raise awareness of domestic violence.
Eight-year-old Jacob Carr was the youngest person to be praised at the event, which was hosted by Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Chief Superintendent Bob Eastwood, at Greenbank Police Station, Blackburn.
Jacob who lives in Rishton, helped his elderly neighbour after she fell and broke her hip.
The youngster was riding his bicycle along Westwood Avenue, in September, when he heard someone shouting for help.
He ran to tell his mum, who went to help the 82-year-old woman.
A father and son were also honoured after they helped police to track down an armed robber.
The pair were leaving the Co-op, in Whalley Old Road, Blackburn, when they saw two masked men enter the shop.
They returned to their car and called police before giving officers a running commentary, leading to a successful conviction.
Forensics officer Rick Hek was also commended for his work during this investigation.
A 12-year-old Blackburn boy also received an award after helping police to quickly access CCTV footage relating to the death of a man who had fallen from a second floor window of a property, owned by his parents.
Certificates were also handed out on behalf of The Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society – given to those whose actions have helped save a person’s life.
Albert Beckett, 64, of Oswaldtwistle, was praised for wading into Kemp Delph quarry to save an elderly lady who was attempting to commit suicide.
PC Shaf Mahmood was recognised for helping to talk down a suicidal man threatening to jump off a multi-storey car park in Blackburn.
And PC Christopher Seed was commended for helping a terrified couple escape from the upstairs of a burning building by driving a police Land Rover underneath the bedroom window to break their fall.
Chief Supt Eastwood said: “Our officers and staff are there to protect our local communities on a daily basis. Their acts demonstrate such outstanding bravery, or relentless commitment to tack-ling crime, or saving people’s lives, that they deserve special recog-nition. We also use this ceremony as a way of highlighting the exceptional actions of members of the public, many of whom show true heroism.”
Other award winners
Blackburn's award-winning Engage team who fight against child exploitation. The team is made up of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s social care department, Brook sexual health charity, the Coalition for the Removal of Pimps, and the Primary Care Trust. Since it was set up in 2008, the team has secured over 300 years of custodial sentences for those involved in the sexual exploitation of children. Their work is backed by the Lancashire Telegraph Keep Them Safe campaign
Blackburn response officer PC Louise Briggs was commended for her consistently high performance, and for her calm, professional, and determined attitude when helping to save a suicidal man.
Armed response officers PC Matthew Canty and PC Gary Oldham were commended for making a substantial contribution to Eastern Division. Over the past few years, they have been responsible for some of the most significant arrests of burglars and car criminals.
Two members of the public who helped save a man after he suffered a heart attack in Darwen were recognised. A Blackburn resident and off-duty nurse were having a drink, in the Bridgewater pub, when they saw a man had collapsed and was not breathing. They quickly gave CPR until an ambulance arrived. He returned home the following week and has now recovered. Doctors said he would have died without the quick response and initial treatment.
PC Michael Davies and a number of residents who act as volunteers for the force were also presented with long service medals after five and ten years of service.
PC Jon Scorah was honoured for pulling a man from a burning building, in Clitheroe, after he was overcome by smoke.
PC Nick Gray, PC Tommy Lord and an off-duty anaesthetist were awarded for their quick thinking and professionalism in trying to save a 15-year-old boy who had collapsed in Wellgate, Clitheroe, in May 2011. The officers carried out CPR for 15 minutes before paramedics arrived. An off-duty anaesthetist, who was passing, offered to help. He used his clinical experience to assist the paramedics. The boy was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital, where he was treated in the intensive care unit. Sadly he died a few days later, although doctors said the actions of the two officers and member of the public gave the boy the best chance of survival.
PCs Carl Chew, Paul Faloon and Jonathan Taylor, from the Ribble Valley, were given awards after they tried to rescue a suicidal man, who was in Dilworth Upper Reservoir, in Longridge. PCs Chew and Faloon jumped into the reservoir and dragged him to the shoreline, while PC Taylor performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.