Man who stopped axe attack recognised at police bravery awards
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A man who saved his stepdaughter from being attacked with an axe has been recognised at a national awards for acts of bravery.
David Darnell rushed downstairs in the midst of the attack at his family home in Kempston. His stepdaughter told her former partner that she did not want to get back into a relationship when he started attacking her with an axe he had stored in his trousers.
Hearing the commotion, Mr Darnell rushed downstairs and tackled the offender to the ground, took the axe from him and caused him to flee. Both Mr Darnell and his stepdaughter were injured in the attack, which led to the offender being jailed for 16 years and eight months.
Mr Darnell’s bravery during the incident in April 2021 led to him last week being recognised at the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) annual Police Public Bravery Awards .
The prestigious awards were hosted at The Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield by Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Lauren Poultney.
The ceremony was held to honour brave members of the public who have placed themselves in dangerous situations, carrying out courageous and selfless acts to help protect others, defend their communities, prevent and detect crime and actively assist the police.
Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said: “Mr Darnell’s courage and selflessness has probably saved his stepdaughter’s life.
“It is timely as well that this award has come during the 16 days of action campaign against gender based violence, where we highlight the scourge of things like domestic abuse in our communities.
“I know we ask our police officers to run towards danger and put themselves between harm and the public.
“We support them in doing so by providing training, safety equipment and support in the form of other police officers. The ask is still a significant one and takes great courage and bravery every day to deliver.
“But, when we see members of the public step up to perform enormously brave acts, they do not have the same armour, they do not necessarily know that help is coming.
“This is bravery in its purest form and everyone at Bedfordshire Police would commend Mr Darnell for his extraordinary actions.”