Police officers awarded for brave action

TWO off-duty police officers have spoken of how they wrestled a knife-welding robber to the ground while they were out shopping.Pc Maggie Williams and Pc Stewart Bell, said they were just fortunate to be out in Bury St Edmunds when they tackled Stephen Tully moments after he stabbed a shop owner in the neck in January.

TWO off-duty police officers have spoken of how they wrestled a knife-welding robber to the ground while they were out shopping.

Pc Maggie Williams and Pc Stewart Bell, said they were just fortunate to be out in Bury St Edmunds when they tackled Stephen Tully moments after he stabbed a shop owner in the neck in January.

The pair were among a group of officers honoured for their actions with Western Area Merit Awards in a ceremony yesterday .

Jennifer Hurren, of the Gold and Silver Studios in Hatter Street, needed stitches in a neck wound after Tully, 45, slashed her after he asked to see a £7,900 ring and then fled from the shop with the ring.


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Mrs Hurren's husband Kenneth and 17-year-old James Creed attempted to stop him before he was finally apprehended by the officers.

Pc Bell said: "It was just by chance that we were in Bury shopping at the time.

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"The shopkeeper was hanging on to the man and I managed to rugby tackle him to the ground. We are both very pleased with the awards and the fact they are not given out too much makes them even more special."

Det Con Paul Makins recieved a merit award for the sensitive and professional manner in which he supported the victims after the robbery.

Tully, 45, of Heathdown Close, Peacehaven, East Sussex, was jailed for 12 years after admitting robbery, unlawful wounding, and assault causing actual bodily harm when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on March 21, 2003.

Mr Hurren said: "In this day and age, police get a lot of stick but I thought they were brilliant with us and I have nothing but praise for them.

"The incident has changed our way of thinking as you don't expect that kind of thing to happen in Bury St Edmunds."

Chief Supt Michael Green, Western Area Commander, said: "This was a particularly serious and nasty offence and fortunately it is very rare in west Suffolk. Tully was a career criminal intending to cause mayhem in what was a very serious crime.

"He required very positively dealing with and it was fortunate the two officers were just shopping at the time. They also very well supported by the male shopkeeper and the 17-year-old male who also did a brilliant job."

Four other police constables and a traffic warden were also recognised.

Pc Brian Glancey , from Newmarket Police Station, was given a merit award after he pursued a man for 300 yards and then arrested him following a fight outside a nightclub.

A detailed search in the investigation of an attempted murder in Ipswich earned Pc Diane Porter and Pc Gary Hopkins awards while Pc Cathy Durling, of Haverhill Police Station, displayed courage and tenacity in the apprehension of a violent offender.

A merit award was also given to mid-Suffolk traffic warden Ivan Leggett after he arrested a potentially violent person in Stowmarket town centre.

Mr Green added: "The work these officers have done is exceptional and they have been rewarded in the most appropriate way.

"We don't give area merit awards lightly as you expect officers to do good work and be positive in difficult conditions but I am very proud to give out the awards to these officers."

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