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14 October 2013, 06:00
A Norwich PC who chased down a wanted man despite being slashed with a knife has been nominated for a national bravery honour.
PC Martin Bentley was one of a number of officers who responded to a domestic in Darrell Place, Norwich, at 4.25am on a Friday morning in February 2012. It had been reported that a statue had been thrown through a window and the suspect, identified as a violent offender wanted for other matters, had driven off.
As PC Bentley approached the scene spotted the car and tried to pull it over. The suspect failed to stop and pursuit through the Norwich area began before ending in Vauxhall Street, where the suspect left the car and ran off. PC Bentley gave chase on foot through several dark alleyways.
The suspected suddenly turned towards PC Bentley and produced a knife. He threatened to kill the officer and thrust the knife towards him. PC Bentley then attempted to deploy his PAVA spray but the suspect turned and once again ran. The officer continued to chase the man as he ran up a drive way and attempted to climb a high gate next to a private house. PC Bentley managed to grab the leg of the suspect, who slashed at him with the knife around the neck and shoulder area, subsequently slashing him around the finger area. This allowed the offender to escape but PC Bentley was undeterred by his injury and continued his pursuit, eventually being joined by other officers.
They managed to corner the offender, who continued to lash out at anyone who came close. With batons drawn the officers eventually overcame the suspect and he was arrested.
The wound to PC Bentley’s hand required 16 stitches and skin grafts.
The offender was sentenced to nine years and two months in prison for causing grievous bodily harm in the attack on PC Bentley and numerous other offences including blackmail and possession of a firearm.
Stephen Mann, CEO, Police Mutual, said: “We consider it a real honour to be the sponsors of the Police Bravery Awards. Every single police officer who has been nominated for an award is a truly special individual. It is only right that we take time out to reflect on their heroism and dedication and recognise the incredibly difficult situations police officers face, in keeping the public safe.”
Paul Ridgway, Chairman of Norfolk Police Federation said “We are extremely pleased that Martin has been chosen to be nominated for an award for the bravery he showed during this particularly difficult and significant incident. He was chosen from a great number of Norfolk officers who have shown bravery over the last twelve months. We wish Martin luck in receiving an award at the ceremony.”
He will find out if he wins later on this week.