Yorkshire police officers who chased Samurai sword murderers and saved a family from a burning flat honoured at National Police Bravery Awards

Some of Yorkshire's most courageous police officers have been nominated for National Police Bravery Awards.

They include four West Yorkshire constables who were first on the scene of the horrific Thornton and Ross factory attack in Huddersfield in which employee Robert Wilson, 53, was murdered with a Samurai sword by two teenage boys he had challenged in the yard.

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Two South Yorkshire Police officers who saved a family - including a newborn baby - from a burning flat in Rotherham have also been put forward by their force.

The four West Yorkshire Police officers who were first on the scene of Robert Wilson's murderThe four West Yorkshire Police officers who were first on the scene of Robert Wilson's murder
The four West Yorkshire Police officers who were first on the scene of Robert Wilson's murder
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In January 2020, Huddersfield was left in shock when Robert Wilson, from Birstall, was killed in a barbaric attack at the pharmaceutical factory where he worked as a supervisor while a colleague who managed to escape had his hand severed.

PCs Daniel Broderick, Elizabeth Brook, Anthony Dutton and Richard Knowles were the first officers on the scene after a CCTV operator who saw the murder unfold in real time called 999.

The officers were all unarmed and managed to surprise attackers Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, and Luke Gaukroger, 16, who were slashing at Mr Wilson's lifeless body with a Samurai sword and knife. They gave chase and detained them both using just Tasers and pepper spray. They then attempted to revive Mr Wilson, who died at the scene.

Both teenagers were later convicted of murder after the court heard Mr Wilson and his injured workmate had confronted the youths over their trespassing on the factory site.

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In September 2020, Earnshaw was jailed for a minimum of 22 years and Gaukroger was ordered to serve 16 years and eight months.

West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Brian Booth said: “Daniel, Elizabeth, Anthony and Richard are outstanding police officers and a credit to the uniform.

“Despite the horrific nature of what they had come across, these officers displayed an outstanding level of courage and selflessness in confronting danger and detaining both of the individuals concerned. At the time of this incident, PC Brook had only four weeks’ service.

“The officers then went above and beyond to make every effort they could to provide CPR and support to the victim despite the horrific injuries that had been inflicted upon him.”

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As well as being nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards, all four officers were submitted for an in-force bravery award, plus two received the Divisional Commander’s Award and one received a Royal Humane Society Award.

They were joined on the nominations shortlist by PC Emma Addis and PC Luke Bagdol from South Yorkshire Police. The pair were attending an incident in Masbrough in Rotherham in August 2020 when PC Addis noticed smoke billowing from the stairwell of a nearby block of flats.

The officers ran over and located a fire outside the door of a ground-floor flat.

PC Addis and PC Bugdol were concerned there could be occupants trapped inside the flat and that smoke was rising to the flats above. They attempted to put out the fire with fire extinguishers from their vehicles, but it had no effect. In poor visibility and choking on the smoke, the officers continued up to the landing, attempting to get occupants out of the first-floor flat.

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PC Bugdol forced open the door to the flat and safely evacuated the occupants - a woman, her four-week-old baby and two other children - by protecting them with towels. PC Addis carried the baby and escorted the woman, while PC Bugdol carried both older children over his shoulders. The woman and her children were unharmed.

When a supervisor arrived at the scene, both officers were suffering the effects of smoke inhalation, struggling for breath, coughing excessively and vomiting. They were triaged by paramedics at the scene and given pure oxygen, before being taken to hospital.

South Yorkshire Police Federation chair Steve Kent said: “What heroes our colleagues are. Police officers are much more than crime fighters and once again this incident clearly demonstrates this - running towards the danger to save people’s lives.

“Emma and Luke selflessly rushed into a smoke-filled building to save a family, including a tiny baby. They were physically sick following the incident so it shows the toll such acts can have on officers and what we do for the public we serve.

“Well done to both officers for their courageous actions. We are very proud of them and they are worthy nominees for the National Police Bravery Awards.”