Bravery awards: Duo jumped into freezing canal to rescue man
Duo jumped into freezing canal to rescue man
GOLD Star winners Liam Jempson and Josh Felvus have scooped another bravery award.
The lifelong-friends from Fishponds won one of the gongs given out by the Post in partnership First in December for their heroics in saving a man from the Avon canal.
And yesterday the pair received a Royal Humane Society award at police headquarters in Portishead, as part of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary's bravery awards.
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On the dramatic morning in April last year, Liam and Josh had been at the Motion nightclub on Avon Street and were walking home when their friend Alice Tavener saw a man jump into the canal alongside Feeder Road.
Thinking only of saving the stricken man as his head dipped under the water, Liam jumped in, soon followed by Josh.
For more than 15 minutes, in temperatures barely above freezing, they struggled to get the unconscious and hypothermic man to safety.
After battling the flow of the water and its boggy banks, they got him to the side where he was hauled to dry land with the help of the fire brigade and made a full recovery.
Liam went to hospital as his body temperature plummeted, but he warmed up with no problems.
In the citation for their award, Superintendent Jon Stratford praised the pals for their bravery.
"Paramedics said if the man had been in the water much longer, it is likely that he would have died," he said.
Liam, 21, said: "We didn't realise how dangerous the canal was until the police told us afterwards.
"I was lucky Josh came in to help because I was struggling on my own."
Josh, 21, said: "It was absolutely freezing in that water – very sobering. We feel pretty honoured to get another award."
Crucial role in jailing of rapists
DC Joanna Wright played a key role in securing the convictions of rapists Barry Snook and Neil Moore.
The step-brothers joined forces to befriend vulnerable women and abuse them.
Snook, 32, from St George, and Moore, 25, from Warmley, denied the attacks but were convicted and given indeterminate prison sentences for public protection (IPP). It will be eight years before either of them will even be considered for parole.
Following their conviction at Bristol Crown Court in February, Judge Michael Roach said: "This case involved women who were socially disadvantaged and particularly fragile. It needed careful directing and delicate handling. It was well organised and well presented by the police. I commend DC Wright for her part in this difficult case."
DC Wright is a key member of Operation Bluestone, Avon and Somerset police's dedicated sexual offences investigation team.
After proudly receiving her commendation at police HQ, she said: "All three of Snook and Moore's victims were vulnerable. We had to support them as much as we could so that they could give evidence.
"When Snook and Moore were convicted it was an amazing feeling to be able to go back to the complainants and say 'because of what you did, and the evidence you gave, your abusers are now locked up'."
Ex-Marine came to aid of victims
FORMER Marine Jeremy Olive was presented with the Waley-Cohen bravery award for stopping his car when he saw three women being threatened by a man on the roadside at Cribbs Causeway in June.
The man, who knew his victims, had already assaulted one of the women and was threatening the others when Mr Olive, who was on his way to work as an HGV driver, pulled over and protected them.
He tried to calm down the irate man and when he became even more aggressive, Mr Olive made it clear he was willing to defend himself.
The man eventually drove off and Mr Olive, a married father of two, waited with the victims until the police arrived. Mr Olive, 48, from Chipping Sodbury, said: "There must have been 30 or 40 cars driven past and no one stopped to help.
"I couldn't drive by and watch that happening.
"My experience with the Marines definitely came in handy.
"I'm very proud to receive the award and am glad I did what I did."
He spent 17 years with 45 Commando and served many tours in Ireland.
Since 1965 the Waley-Cohen award has been given to civilians who bravely support law and order.
Team that is showing the way in building community relations
THE Kingswood neighbourhood policing team have been honoured for providing a sterling example of how to build up excellent community relations.
Led by Sergeant Rachael Hodges, the team is made up of PCs Lee Humphreys, Dom Pickett and Nick Smart; PCSOs Christian Abbott, Switri Kaur, Nick Pearce, Kay Rees and Craig Waters and four special constables. Student PCs Hugh Barnes and Emyr Watson were also part of the team during the last year as PCSOs, but are now training to become regular constables.
They received the Hari Joshi award, which was donated in his memory by members of the Hindu community and is given out annually to police who have made the greatest contribution to community relations in the greater Bristol area.
Their sterling work has included:
â Increasing their presence in the community by locating in South Gloucestershire Council's Kingswood offices, near Kings Chase shopping centre.
â Working with the community to revitalise local shop and pub watch schemes.
â Working with the ex-Gurkha security guards at Kings Chase to improve reporting of hate crime, bringing offenders to justice and reducing crime.
â Working closely with their CID colleagues in an operation which led to the conviction of 11 Kingswood- based drug dealers and helping to secure anti-social behaviour orders.
â Mentoring challenging and "at risk" young people and diverting them from becoming involved in crime and disorder through sport and work placements.
â Working to support Connecting Kingswood, a partnership of local community organisations, voluntary groups and agencies working together to improve all aspects of life.
Sgt Hodges put the success of the team down to a number of factors.
She said: "It's mainly about community contacts – creating and building relationships with people so that they have the confidence in us being able to deliver.
"It's also about our strategic work in identifying the areas where we can have the most impact.
"We are now based 600 yards from Kings Chase shopping centre, so we can respond to incidents quickly and that area has become a regular part of our patrol."
On winning the award, one of the three beat managers, PC Humphreys, said: "It was a real buzz and it makes you think 'right, what's the next area we can focus on'?"
Sgt Hodges added: "This trophy motivates us, as a team, to push on and tackle the next problem."
Quick-thinking saved man's life
PCs Neil Forsyth, Nick Murrie and two female officers helped save a man's life with their quick-thinking and actions.
In July last year, a 55-year-old man went to his former partner's home in Station Road, Yate, and threatened to kill himself.
When she tried to stop him he threatened her with a knife, so she went to a neighbour's and called the police.
When PCs Forsyth, Murrie, Maggs and another officer arrived, the man was hanging by a piece of rope.
PC Forsyth cut him down while the others supported his weight. The four officers then took it in turns to give him CPR until paramedics from the air ambulance service arrived.
His pulse returned and he was taken to hospital with a chance of survival.
The Royal Humane Society certificate is a national award for acts of bravery in saving human life, or trying to do so and the officers were presented with their certificates at police HQ yesterday.
"The initial report was that the man had a knife so we got there as quickly as we could," said PC Forsyth. "We just did what we were trained to do and tried to save him."
PC Murrie added: "We're very proud to have received this award."
The man survived for several weeks before passing away.
Tackling horrific sex abuse case
DC Larisa Hunt received a Crown Court Commendation from judge Carol Hagen for her tireless and sensitive work during a "horrific" sex abuse case.
She helped secure the 28-count conviction of a man who had violently abused members of his family for a number of years.
The strength of the case built up against him meant that he was jailed for 20 years, at Bristol Crown Court.
Judge Hagen said: "DC Hunt acted in a responsible and wholly commendable way. She did so in a manner that is worthy of recognition.
"I wish to give my thanks and admiration for her conduct of the interviews with the complainants."
DC Hunt was part of the Child Abuse Investigation Team at the time and is now part of the force's safeguarding unit.
Looking back at the case, she told the Post: "It was the worst case I have ever investigated.
"The sexual abuse this man inflicted was extremely violent and continued for a very long time.
"I was really pleased with the bravery shown by the victims and the way they gave their evidence.
"I'm very pleased to have received my first crown court commendation," she added.