Police officers have been rewarded for their bravery in the line of duty.
Stories of remarkable professionalism, compassion and courage in saving lives were outlined during the Chief Constable’s annual awards ceremony held in Villa Marina’s Broadway Cinema.
Constables Mark Hempsall and Rob Midghall were commended by the Royal Humane Society for their incredible efforts in saving the life of a three-year-old girl, who had stopped breathing after she choked on a lollipop.
On their arrival they found a truly traumatic scene – the child, who had turned blue, had been unresponsive for five minutes and a hugely distressed young mother and another younger child.
The child to all intents and purposes was dead. Over a lengthy period, with Constable Midghall helping support the child’s limp body, Constable Hempsall was able to find and release the obstruction, which eventually led to the child beginning to breath again.
Constable Robin Arnold received a commendation for saving the life of an 11-year-old boy who collapsed in the street in Castletown in January this year after suffering a severe asthma attack.
A communications mix-up meant that an ambulance was sent to the wrong location but Constable Arnold quickly found the boy, who had stopped breathing, and began work to resuscitate him, with the help of a doctor who arrived at the scene, until the paramedics arrived.
Detective Constable James Butler also received a commendation for saving the life of a motorcyclist following a crash on the Mountain Road in June 2013. His calm actions in administering first aid ensured the man survived.
Constable Steve Lapsley was presented with Isle of Man Newspapers’ Community Police Officer of the Year award for his work in the Pulrose and Anagh Coar estates include establishing a community council which uses Facebook to communicate with the public, doing excellent work in Manor Park School and making a genuine difference to the proud people of the two estates by giving them a voice.
‘He is a deserving winner of this award,’ the Chief Constable’s citation reads.
Constable Lapsley also received a commendation from the Chief Constable for saving the life of a man who attempted suicide in December last year. He smashed the window of a car that had been parked in a remote and disused car park, dragged the apparently lifeless man from the vehicle and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Special Constable Andy Culshaw received a certificate of merit and civilian Max Christian was commended for their part in saving the life of a young woman suffering from mental health problems who had jumped into Ramsey harbour in January this year.
The weather was cold and inclement, with heavy rain falling and a strong wind blowing. The harbour was half full of water.
Mr Christian, who was nearby, saw what the young woman had done and, without thought for his own safety, jumped in and swam to the young woman, who had gone beneath the water.
Special Constable Culshaw had seen both people jump in and showing quick thinking, he was able to help make available ropes and a buoy, which allowed him to help Mr Christian, who had taken hold of the young woman, and pull her from the water.
Sergeant Andy McKillop and Constable Dave Baker received an award from the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire for pulling a man from a burning first floor flat in Woodbourne Road, Douglas, in May 2012.
He was taken to hospital for treatment for severe smoke inhalation. ‘There is little doubt that they saved his life,’ the Chief Constable’s citation reads.
Detectives were also awarded for their investigative skills.
Detective Constables Kate Crompton and Emily Perkins, together with prosecutor Linda Watts, received a commendation for their role in the successful prosecution of maths teacher Davoud Taghinejad who was jailed for 15 years in prison in February this year after being found guilty by a jury of one rape and 10 sexual assaults.
Detective Constable Kate Crompton also received a commendation, alongside Detective Constable Nick Haxby, for care, compassion and excellence in investigation in the Sandcastles nursery sex abuse inquiry. Andrew James Maddrell, aged 24, who used to be employed as a nursery worker at the kindergarten, pleaded guilty to an offence of indecent assault against a three-year-old child and to possessing 232 indecent images of children.
More controversially perhaps, Detective Inspector Iain MacMillan and Detective Constables Jamie Tomlinson, Ian Harrison and Emily Perkins received a commendation for their role in Operation Leopard, the inquiry into perjury allegations against the Attorney General Stephen Harding. Mr Harding was formally found not guilty of the charges after juries at his trial, and subsequent retrial, failed to reach a verdict.
Constables Mark Kerruish and Darren Wylde received certificates of merit for excellence in investigation into incidents of violence involving players, club officials and spectators, during a football match between Laxey and St John’s United in February last year.
Constables Chris Treanor and Pamela Robinson also received certificates of merit for their skill, care and compassion in dealing with the sudden death of an apparently healthy baby at Noble’s Hospital in January this year.
Certificates of merit were also awarded to Constable Michael Taylor in connection with his work with children in care and to Special Constable Dave Berry, for restraining and subduing a violent offender following a disturbance in Castletown.
Detective Constable James Butler was awarded a commendation for curiosity, quick thinking and detective skill in apprehending two women on suspicion of drug smuggling.