Four police heroes who overpowered armed killer in York up for bravery award

20 Jun 2016 @ 8.13 am
| Crime, News

Without a thought for their own safety they tackled an armed man who had just killed his friend.

And now four police officers’ “professionalism, courage and compassion” has seen them nominated for a Police Bravery Award.

The actions of North Yorkshire Police Constables Steven Harvey, Martin Scott, Dave Ellison and Alex Gregory, will be recognised at the 21st Police Bravery Awards on July 14.

The awards honour and recognise police officers who performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

Terrible night

Flashback to the scene of the tragic episode, Hamilton Drive West
Flashback to the scene of the tragic episode, Hamilton Drive West

On the evening of July 27, 2015, 19-year-old Sam Donley attacked his friend Liam Miller.

He stabbed him multiple times with a knife while suffering a psychotic episode at a house in Hamilton Drive West, York.

On arrival, PCs Gregory, Ellison, Harvey and Scott were confronted with a horrific scene of trauma and continuing lethal violence.

Despite the efforts of PCSOs, police officers and paramedics, Liam sadly died of his injuries.

As the officers approached the front door of the property, they found Mr Donley still brandishing the knife.

The young man then began stabbing himself, whilst fighting with extreme aggression.

A court later heard he had taken drug the 25i-NBOMe, a powerful hallucinogen inducing effects which can include paranoia, violence, agitation and seizures.

The officers, working as a team, used bodily force to subdue the offender, having to use taser and incapacitant spray PAVA, in a small, confined space while still a facing a deadly threat themselves.

The officers then provided life-saving first aid to him, while further help arrived.

Sam Donley later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was jailed for six years.

‘Huge risk’

Psychotic episode: Samuel Donley, who killed Liam
Psychotic episode: Sam Donley, who killed Liam Miller

Mike Stubbs, chairman of the North Yorkshire Police Federation, said:

These officers put themselves at huge risk, confronting an armed offender who had just killed his friend and was extremely violent and dangerous.

They have shown the finest values of professionalism, courage and compassion and their bravery should be commended.

The awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.

“We are proud to continue our support for such an inspirational event in the policing calendar and to be able to show our respect for the exceptional courage shown by police officers who risk their lives every day to protect the public,” said Stephen Mann, the chief executive of Police Mutual.