Four brave police officers who had ammonia thrown at them while responding to a call spoke of their pride at attending the National Police Bravery Awards.

PCs Stuart Garnett, Joshua Hegarty, Lee Richards and Sgt Andrew Gore, who received severe injuries in an attack in Darwen back in 2019 joined courageous colleagues from across England and Wales at The National Police Bravery Awards in London on Tuesday.

The officers sadly did not win on the night but the ‘fantastic four’ said that it was an honour to be at the ceremony.

There were 93 nominees from 43 forces, with regional winners and an overall national winner.

Sgt Andy Gore, who took the brunt of the alkaline attack in Darwen in 2019, said: “Unfortunately we didn’t get it but the people who did were worthy winners.

“It was an honour and a privilege to attend.

“It was breath-taking to be surrounded by so many officers who have done some amazing things to protect the public.

“You just deal with it as you are trained to deal with it.”

The officers were nominated after they responded to a call on April 16, 2019, at Ash Grove, Darwen, from a woman who said Paul Elliot had held a knife to her throat and had threatened to slit it.

Elliot was suspected to be still inside the property with the knife when officers arrived.

PC Garnett led a search downstairs with another officer while Sgt Gore and PC Richards took another team upstairs.

Elliot suddenly appeared at the top of the stairs and threw ammonia at the officers, with Sgt Gore taking the full brunt to his face with PC Richards and the team also getting splashed.

The attack had left Sgt Gore with severe injuries while by now the others were having trouble breathing and were in pain, meaning they had to leave the building.

The officers bravely went back into the property after a short respite and PCs Hegarty and Richards set off in pursuit, before they wrestled him to the ground and made the arrest.

Speaking about his colleagues, Sgt Gore added: “It was their courage and stepping up and facing them that got us to the awards.”

Over 48 hours the officers spent in London, they attended the ceremony as well as visiting Downing Street.