A Banbridge police officer who arrested a knife-wielding man despite having been stabbed in the head is to be awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for bravery.
In February 2012 Sergeant Mark Wright put his own life in danger when he was called to a house in Lurgan where a man was ‘dangerously out of control.’
The man had assaulted a female in the house and then locked himself inside with two very young children.
Unknown to Sergeant Wright, the man was armed with two knives. However, realising the seriousness of the situation, and with a woman and two children inside, he attempted to force entry. He was then stabbed by the man wielding both knives and suffered serious head wounds.
Despite his injuries, Sergeant Wright wrestled with the man, who also tried to stab another officer in the throat.
Trying to prevent injury to anyone else, Sergeant Wright apprehended the man and handcuffed him.
Although seriously wounded, Sergeant Wright’s actions ensured the safety of two young children, the woman and his two colleagues.
The man was arrested, charged and subsequently sentenced to seven years in prison.
On hearing the news about receiving the Gallantry award, Sergeant Wright, who is based in Banbridge, said: “I am extremely humbled and honoured to have been nominated for the Queen’s Gallantry Medal. Our job as police officers is to protect lives and to keep people safe and on that night in question I was only doing my job protecting the individuals within the house.
“I will be accepting this award on behalf of all my colleagues with in the Police Service of Northern Ireland as this was a team effort.”
South Area Co-Ordinator, Chief Superintendent Alywin Barton said: “I am hugely proud of Sergeant Wright and his colleagues. They have been recognised for their heroism and bravery.
“Sergeant Wright put his life in real danger and doing so protected and indeed saved the lives of others.”