December 10 2013 Latest news:
The EDP Stars Awards presentations to the winners. PC Matt Gouldsmith, centre, and PC Forbes Scott, receive the Police Person of the Year ward from John Packman, CEO Broads Authority. Picture: Denise Bradley
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
In the latest of our profiles on the Stars of Norfolk winners, crime correspondent PETER WALSH learns more about the bravery and quick thinking which helped win the Police Person of the Year award.
It was fast approaching midnight on New Year’s Eve - the busiest night of the year for emergency services - last year when PCs Forbes Scott and Matt Gouldsmith were confronted with a horrific scene which sparked them into action in what was a frantic fight for survival.
David Roberts, 50, of Bullard Road, Norwich, was jailed for 12 years earlier this year after pleading guilty to attempted murder following the attack on the 51-year-old, who was slashed in the face and neck after stepping in to help Roberts’s then partner, who was in distress.
PCs Forbes Scott and Matt Gouldsmith, of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Operational Unit, found the victim covered in blood in Colegate, where he collapsed following the attack.
They both leapt into action with one of them - PC Scott - trying to staunch the flow of blood from a wound in the victim’s neck while his colleague grabbed the first aid kit.
"I am proud of the fact that we actually saved someone’s life and that he has a future to look forward to with his family"
The officers, both based at Wymondham, accompanied the victim to hospital with PC Scott still applying pressure to the wounded man’s neck until they were able to reach the hospital and the care of the medical team who took over.
Hospital staff told the officers if they had not acted in the way they did the man might not have survived which in turn led to Judge Stephen Holt publicly praising them both following the court case.
Judge Holt told Norwich Crown Court that but for the “swift actions” of the police officers who raced to the aid of the victim and their efforts to staunch the flow of blood, he might well have died.
PC Scott and PC Gouldsmith were both pleased to have been recognised by the judge and “surprised” that their actions led to them winning the Star of Norfolk award in the category which also saw Police Community Support Officer Graham Aldridge, Detective Chief Insp Rickie Botwright and Det Sgt Gary Dack nominated.
PC Scott, who has been a police officer for more than 22 years and is married with four sons, said: “Both Matt and I are both honoured to be recognised. It doesn’t happen every day of the week. We are both honoured and are quite surprised that we won it.”
He added: “We’re both very, very pleased. It’s something out of the ordinary and fantastic to be recognised. I am proud of the fact that, in all that we deal with in terms of Road Traffic Collisions, we actually saved someone’s life and that he has a future to look forward to with his family.”
The officers prize for winning the award was cheque donation to a charity of their choice meaning they chose this year’s nominated police charity - Priscilla Bacon Lodge, a palliative care centre based at Unthank Road, Norwich.
PC Scott, a forensic collision investigator has been with the roads policing department for eight years and also works as a family liaison officer dealing with bereaved families and helping them to cope with their unexpected loss.
Outside work he enjoys walking, cycling and tinkering with motor vehicles as well as camping and cooking.
PC Matthew Gouldsmith, a married father of two who has been a police officer for more than 13 years with the last eight spent as a roads policing officer. He is also a family liaison officer.
Speaking at the time of the incident, PC Gouldsmith said: “The main thing was for him to get there. We’re just pleased he survived.”