Sudbury: Brave officers nominated for national award after saving man’s life

Sergeant Brian Calver

Sergeant Brian Calver

Three Suffolk police officers who saved a machete-wielding man trying to hang himself from a bridge have been recognised for their bravery.

Pc Samuel Gilkes

Pc Samuel Gilkes

Sergeants Daniel Connick and Brian Calver, along with Pc Samuel Gilkes, are the county’s nominees for the National Police Bravery Awards in London on October 17.

Sergeant Daniel Connick

Sergeant Daniel Connick

Sgt Connick responded to an emergency call alerting police to a male with a noose around his neck on a 40ft-high road bridge in Sudbury. The man also had a large machete with him.

A motorbike leaving the raid on Goldsmiths in Tacket Street, Ipswich
EADT 24.2.12
ES 24.2.12

A motorbike leaving the raid on Goldsmiths in Tacket Street, Ipswich EADT 24.2.12 ES 24.2.12 - Credit: Contributed

When Sgt Calver to assist his colleague Sgt Connick was standing on the bridge with the man sitting around 20ft away. The man had a long length of orange rope tied around his neck. The other end was tied to the railings.

Before Sgt Calver could get to the machete, the male grabbed the knife and stood up.

He became very agitated and moved towards Sgt Calver. As Sgt Connick and PC Samuel Gilkes moved closer to the male from behind he turned and shouted at them.

The man lunged towards the railings, with a drop of approximately 40ft to the road below.

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With his upper body already over the railings Pc Gilkes struggled to hold the man’s weight as he tried to restrain him.

The two sergeants went to help. The man had his back to the railings and was still clutching the weapon as he continued to fight the officers. Eventually he was wrestled to the floor and restrained.

The incident happened in May last year.

Praising the officers’ actions Matt Gould, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation, said: “It is quite clear that the male had every intention of causing harm to himself and any officer who tried to stop him.

“Without the timely intervention of these officers it is clear the male would have jumped from the bridge potentially killing himself and others.

“Clearly these officers were faced with a dangerous and difficult situation.

“Without thought for their own safety, they managed to bring about a safe conclusion to a situation that might otherwise have ended in tragedy. They acted with great bravery.”

Among the other Suffolk officers considered for the national bravery awards was former Pc Joe Mullett.

While off duty he saw a motorcycle gang brandishing a sledgehammer and axe robbing Goldsmiths Jewellers in Tavern Street, Ipswich.

The gang threatened him and rode their motorcycles towards him as they escaped.

Pc Mullett was able to give his colleagues information which led to the robbers’ early arrest. Five offenders were subsequently jailed by Ipswich Crown Court.

Pc Mullett has since retired from the force.

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