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  • Commendation for hero PC who tackled knifeman

    By Lynda Roughley

    A LANCASHIRE policeman who tackled an aggressive knifeman has been publicly commended by a High Sheriff.

    James Davies, OBE, the High Sheriff of Merseyside described PC Ben Barnes as “a hero, the best of the best.”

    And he said: “Your actions remind us of the bravery and risks police officers take day in, day out.”

    Liverpool Crown Court heard that PC Barnes was called to a domestic incident at a house in Skelmersdale on June 27 last year.

    On arrival he was approached by Nikita Dale who was upset and said Paul McCarthy had threatened to kill her friend, Katie Walsh.

    PC Barnes tried to call for assistance but his radio was dead. Nevertheless, he went inside the house and a hysterical Ms Walsh, who had a wound to her face and had been stabbed in the calf, pointed upstairs.

    “It must have been apparent that the woman’s assailant had used a knife upon her,” said Judge Robert Warnock, who sentenced McCarthy to seven-and-a-half years behind bars last October.

    However the officer went upstairs and was confronted by McCarthy who was in a highly agitated state. He refused to be handcuffed and told PC Barnes not to touch him.

    The officer was forced to use his CS spray on him but to no effect and McCarthy was violently swinging his arms around. The officer grappled him away from the top of the stairs and they ended up in a bedroom still grappling where they fell onto the bed.

    McCarthy was swinging his elbows and struck the officer in the face but PC Barnes managed to handcuff him.

    Judge Warnock said that in dealing with McCarthy, who had used a knife with a 10-inch blade to injure Ms Walsh, he had “demonstrated considerable personal courage in a highly dangerous situation.”

    PC Barnes’ proud wife was present in the public gallery for the ceremony.

    McCarthy, 49, of no fixed address, had admitted assault with intent, making threats to kill and assaulting PC Barnes.

    Ms Dale also received a commendation from the High Sheriff for her actions in trying to help her friend escape and calling the police. She was unable to attend the ceremony but will be sent the certificate of commendation.

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