Officers who detained killers of Birstall man nominated for bravery award

Four West Yorkshire Police officers who courageously detained two teenagers who had just murdered a Birstall man with a Samurai sword have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 8:36 am
PC Daniel Broderick, PC Elizabeth Brook, PC Anthony Dutton and PC Richard Knowles have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards for courageously detaining two teenagers who had just murdered a man with a Samurai sword

On January 16, 2020, PC Daniel Broderick, PC Elizabeth Brook, PC Anthony Dutton and PC Richard Knowles responded to reports of a man being attacked with a sword outside the Thornton and Ross pharmaceutical factory in Linthwaite, Huddersfield.

It was being viewed in real time by a CCTV operator.

Upon arrival the officers, armed only with conventional PPE, were faced with both attackers using a Samurai sword to attack Robert Wilson, 53.

Robert Wilson, 53, of Birstall, was murdered in the attack

Mr Wilson had been the subject of the most barbaric assault with a sword and knife and clearly sustained unsurvivable injuries.

The officers startled the offenders and then managed to chase them, deploy Taser and pepper spray and detain them both, despite the offenders still being in possession of the murder weapon.

Then the officers returned to the apparently lifeless body of the victim and attempted to revive him until the arrival of the ambulance service, whereupon the victim was sadly declared dead.

Both suspects were later convicted of Mr Wilson’s murder.

It emerged that the victim and his colleague, John Badejo, worked at the factory and had confronted a gang of youths who were trespassing and were under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

A confrontation occurred and despite the victim and his colleague trying to calm the situation, two of the teenagers attacked them with a Samurai sword.

Mr Badejo’s hand was severed and he managed to run away. But the attack upon Mr Wilson was brutal, lasting for eight minutes before the police arrived.

Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, of Field Lane, Batley, and Luke Gaukroger, 16, of Arthur Street, Huddersfield, both admitted to the murder of Mr Wilson.

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

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West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Brian Booth said: “Daniel, Elizabeth, Anthony and Richa 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.”

Mr Booth added: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Mr Wilson.”

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 Divisional Commander’s Award and one received a Humane Society Award.

The National Police Bravery Awards honour officers from across England and Wales who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

As nominees, PC Broderick, PC Brook, PC Dutton and PC Knowles will attend an awards ceremony in London on December 9.

The National Police Bravery Awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.