Award for burning car rescue Pc

A POLICE officer from Suffolk and two members of the public who rescued three people from their burning cars will be honoured at a presentation in London today .

A POLICE officer from Suffolk and two members of the public who rescued three people from their burning cars will be honoured at a presentation in London today .

Pc Stewart McIlroy will receive a Bronze Medal from the Royal Humane Society for his bravery, while Ipswich residents David Alberto and Terence Mizen - who stopped to assist - will receive Testimonials on vellum.

The police officer had been pursuing a suspect, James Ratcliffe, then of The Crescent, Great Horkesley, through Nacton village when the 23-year-old failed to stop at the junction of the A1156 and the Nacton village turn-off on January 13, 2006.

Ratcliffe's Vauxhall Calibra crashed into a Seat Alhambra driven by 59-year-old Robert Parker, causing both cars to burst into flames.

Pc McIlroy, with the help of passers-by Mr Alberto and Mr Mizen, hauled the unconscious Ratcliffe through the window of the car. The officer also freed another woman and Mr Parker from the vehicles.

Ratcliffe was later jailed for 64 weeks, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for five years at Ipswich Crown Court in September 2006 for a string of offences including dangerous driving.

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Pc McIlroy said: “I'm very grateful for the recognition provided by this award. Many other people present at the scene made dealing with the whole incident much smoother. I'm very pleased to see that members of the public do put themselves out to assist us.”

Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said all three thoroughly deserved their awards.

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