'My concern was for public safety': Northampton security guard saved bus passengers' lives from man wielding machete

Ian Fox was awarded 500 by the high sheriff in Northamptonshire for his bravery.
Ian Fox was awarded 500 by the high sheriff in Northamptonshire for his bravery.

A heroic security guard has been commended for saving the lives of 20 passengers who were waiting for the last bus home in Northampton.

Ian Fox, 56, was on shift at North Gate bus station back in April last year when Gavin Massey started shouting racial abuse at passengers before he pulled a meat cleaver from his bag.

But rather than taking cover, Mr Fox bravely tried to grab the knife from his hands and ushered him away from members of the public who were waiting at bay 13 for the last bus of the day.

While outside, at 10.50pm, the offender continued to wave the knife around and shouted: ‘I’m going to slash them’.

In Mr Fox’s witness statement to Northamptonshire Police he said: “I ran after him and stopped him from gaining access [to the bus station].

“He then ran towards the entrance on Sheep Street.

“Concerned for everyone’s safety I contacted control to inform the police.”

Specialist firearms officers quickly apprehended the offender on the Market Square, and Massey was later sentenced to 20 months in prison.

At a ceremony at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday, Mr Fox received a £500 award after he was recommended by a judge for going the extra mile.

The gong was presented to Mr Fox by the high sheriff of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson DL, for helping to apprehend Massey.

Mr Fox said: “It was nice to be recognised and get an award but as far as I was concerned – I was just doing my job.

“My concern was for the safety of the public.

“It did not really dawn on me until he got taken away by the police.”

His Honour Judge Mayo, of Northampton Crown Court, recommended Mr Fox for the award in recognition of his ‘extraordinary courage’.

He said: “He deserves this award from the high sheriff just as much as a combined honours degree in modesty and understatement.

“It took a little while for a specialist firearms car to arrive: the police took a snap decision that full protection should be afforded to the public and their officers.

“On that day, Mr Fox had nothing other than his hands and voice.”