Two police officers who caught a violent rapist moments after he had attacked a woman in her own home have been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2023.
Around 6am on 26 February 2022, South Yorkshire Police received a call from a woman saying her daughter had contacted her panicking because a male was breaking into her home. Her mother could hear banging in the background before the line went dead.
PCs Toby Brown and Harriet Murray were deployed to the incident and upon attending the address the victim answered the door in an inconsolable state.
She confirmed an unknown male had broken into her home and damaged property before entering her bedroom, sexually assaulting, and raping her.
Whilst officers were talking to the victim, they could hear a whistling sound inside the property indicating the offender was still present.
They began to search the property and discovered he was still there hiding on the roof outside a window. Upon seeing the officers, the offender climbed down on to the street and ran. PC Brown started to give chase while passing vital information to the force control room.
The suspect stopped and punched PC Brown twice in the face, knocking him almost unconscious.
Despite his strenuous resistance, PC Brown managed to maintain a hold on the male and took him to the floor until PC Murray and assistance arrived where he was arrested.
PC Brown required hospital treatment for his injuries.
The offender was not previously known to police, therefore the officers’ prompt and brave actions in detaining him ensured there was not a protracted investigation to identify and locate an outstanding suspect causing continued fear in the community.
As a result of this incident and the strong evidential case assisted by his early arrest, the offender pleaded guilty to all charges and has been jailed for 21 years.
Steve Kent, South Yorkshire Police Federation chair, said: “The officers’ bravery and tenacity in arresting this individual despite being assaulted and being met with such violence, really sums up the best of what our police officers do day in and day out. They should be proud that their actions were absolutely vital in bringing him to justice after what was a truly horrific crime.”
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lauren Poultney said: “These two officers are shining examples of providing the highest standards of public service.
“Their selflessness was instinctive and their quick-thinking meant that they were able to immediately apprehend an exceptionally violent offender.
“I am proud to work alongside such dedicated and tenacious officers and I am pleased their bravery is being recognised through this nomination.”