Three hero Norwich police officers honoured for saving suicidal man after seeing off aggressive Alsatian

Sgt Mark Shepherd. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Sgt Mark Shepherd. Photo: Geraldine Scott - Credit: Geraldine Scott

Three Norwich police officers who broke into a house and faced down an aggressive Alsatian to save the life of a man are to receive national life-saving honours.

The man had attempted to take his own life and was not breathing when the officers reached him, but they managed to revive and save him.

Now Sgt Mark Shepherd, who was confronted by the dog when he went to the kitchen, is to receive a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on Parchment. And PCs Michael LeFevre and Steven Godden are to receive Certificates of Commendation from the Society.

The incident happened on the morning of August 2 last year. Sgt Shepherd and PC LeFevre were first on the scene after being called to a house where the man who was believed to have suicidal tendencies had locked himself in.

They were met by the man's wife and when PC LeFevre spoke to the man on the wife's mobile phone the man told him 'It's too late'.

They broke in and found the man, who was unconscious. The managed to get him breathing and put him in the recovery position until an ambulance arrived.

Praising the three officers for their action as he announced the awards at the Royal Humane Society's London headquarters, Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Society, said: 'There is little doubt that, but for the swift action of these three officers, the man would have died.

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'They were on the scene rapidly, they broke in, found him. It was made even more difficult by the presence of the dog. Thankfully though they managed and he survived.

'They richly deserve the awards that have been made to them.'

The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries. The Queen is its patron and its president is Princess Alexandra. It is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.

It was founded in 1774 by two of the day's eminent medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan. Their primary motive was to promote techniques of resuscitation.

However, as it emerged that numerous people were prepared to put their own lives at risk to save others, the awards scheme evolved, and today a variety of awards are made depending on the bravery involved.

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