December 11 2013 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Saturday, September 28, 2013
A Norwich police officer who continued to pursue a wanted man through the city despite having been slashed with a knife has been nominated for a National Police Bravery Award.
PC Martin Bentley will attend an awards ceremony in London next month after being recognised for his bravery following a domestic disturbance in the city.
PC Bentley was one of a number of officers who responded to a domestic disturbance in Darrell Place, off Cadge Road, Norwich, following reports a statue had been thrown through a window and the suspect, identified as a violent offender wanted for other matters, had driven off.
As PC Bentley approached the scene, he spotted the car and tried to pull it over. The suspect, Lance Beane, failed to stop and a pursuit through the streets of Norwich began before ending in Vauxhall Street, where Beane left the car and ran off.
PC Bentley gave chase on foot through several dark alleyways before Beane suddenly turned towards the officer and produced a knife.
He threatened to kill the officer and thrust the knife towards him. PC Bentley then attempted to deploy his PAVA spray but the suspect turned and once again ran.
The officer continued to chase the man as he ran up a drive way and attempted to climb a high gate next to a private house but PC Bentley managed to grab the leg of the offender, who slashed at him with the knife around the neck and shoulder area.
Despite receiving injuries to his hand PC Bentley continued his pursuit of Beane and was joined by other officers who managed to corner the offender, who continued to lash out at officers. But with batons drawn the officers eventually overcame the suspect and he was arrested.
Paul Ridgway, chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers in the county, said “We are extremely pleased that Martin has been chosen to be nominated for an award for the bravery he showed during this particularly difficult and significant incident. “He was chosen from a great number of Norfolk officers who have shown bravery over the last 12 months. We wish Martin luck in receiving an award at the ceremony.”
In October last year Beane, then 23, of Primrose Crescent, Thorpe St Andrew, was sentenced to nine years and three months in prison after being found guilty earlier in the year of grievous bodily harm, destroying and damaging property, aggravated vehicle taking, and possession of an offensive weapon.
Beane was also convicted of actual bodily harm and criminal damage following an incident in The Denes, Norwich, in November 2011.
PC Bentley required 16 stitches to his hand and skin grafts following the incident which happened in the early hours of Friday, February 17 last year.
The officer’s bravery in the line of duty has seen him nominated for the Police Bravery Awards which is an annual event which honours police officers across England and Wales for their actions to tackle criminals and keep the public safe.
PC Bentley will be accompanied by temporary chief constable Simon Bailey when he attends the ceremony, the 18th Police Bravery Awards, which is being held in the capital on October 17.
Stephen Mann, chief executive officer of Police Mutual, which sponsors the Police Bravery Awards, said: “Every single police officer who has been nominated for an award is a truly special individual. It is only right that we take time out to reflect on their heroism and dedication and recognise the incredibly difficult situations police officers face, in keeping the public safe.”