Suicide bid police heroes up for award

Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Three police officers who stopped a man with a machete from hanging himself in Sudbury have been nominated for a bravery award.

Sergeant Daniel Connick, Sergeant Brian Calver and Pc Samuel Gilkes are up for a national Police Bravery Award in recognition of their efforts in May 2011.

Sgt Connick and Sgt Calver were called to reports of a man, Robert Underwood from Beatty Road, standing on a 40-foot high bridge above Springlands Way with a noose around his neck and a machete in his hand.

Sgt Connick spoke to Underwood, who was sat down, while Sgt Calver approached. However, Underwood quickly grabbed the machete, pulled it from its sheath and stood up. Sgt Calver stopped as Sgt Connick and Pc Gilkes moved closer behind Underwood, who suddenly turned and started shouting and lunged towards the railings.

Pc Gilkes restrained Underwood, whose upper body had already gone over. He continued to fight with the officers until a spray was used to subdue him so he could be pulled back and restrained.

Matt Gould, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation, said: “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.”

The 18th Police Bravery Awards, organised by The Police Federation of England and Wales, will be held in London on October 18.

Underwood was given a two-year community order and 100 hours of unpaid work in September 2011.