PC who faced Samurai sword attack honoured

A constable who protected a colleague from a man carrying two Samurai swords is among people given policing awards.

Officers, staff, special constables, volunteers and members of the community from West Sussex have been recognised for outstanding contributions over the past year.

Award winners from Horsham and other parts of the county attended a ceremony at Arundel Castle. 

In one incident, while attending to a domestic  situation, Sergeant Ben Websdale and PC Michael Butler were confronted by a young man with two Samurai swords.

The man charged at the officers, forcing them both to move back.

PC Butler tripped on the uneven path and Sergeant Websdale put himself in harm’s way to protect his colleague.

No- one was seriously injured and when more officers arrived the suspect was arrested and charged.

Speaking about the incident, which happened in Crawley, Sergeant Websdale said: “It was pretty much only afterwards, I’d say probably the next day, you start thinking about how close you were to actually losing your life because you don’t stand a chance with a Samurai sword, particularly two of them.”

“It is nice to be recognised with a Divisional Commendation because police do a lot of hard work, and that was a very violent situation. I’m just glad no one got hurt.”

PC Luke Farley was awarded a Divisional Commendation for arresting two men after a fight in Haywards Heath. He was attacked before calling for help from colleagues, and was assisted by an on-duty passing paramedic.

High Sheriff of West Sussex Denise Patterson and Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry made the presentations and there were 104 awards in all.

Superintendent Steve Whitton ,West Sussex Divisional Commander, said: “In my 29 years as a police officer I never cease to be amazed by the examples I see day in and day out of officers and staff going above and beyond in order to keep people safe, often putting themselves in harm’s way.”

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