Northampton security guard awarded for 'extraordinary courage' after apprehending man wielding meat-cleaver

Pictured L-R: The high sheriff, Ian Fox and his wife Caroline, and superintendent Mark Behan, representing the chief constable.
Pictured L-R: The high sheriff, Ian Fox and his wife Caroline, and superintendent Mark Behan, representing the chief constable.

A security supervisor at the bus station in Northampton has received an award after he bravely ushered a man, brandishing a meat cleaver, away from the public.

In April last year, security guard Ian Fox was working at Northgate bus station when Gavin Massey - a regular visitor to criminal court - started shouting racial abuse at passers-by before getting a meat-cleaver out of his bag.

But rather than taking cover and hoping that someone else would deal with the ongoing situation, Mr Fox bravely approached Massey and gently ushered him away from the public.

In Mr Fox's witness statement to Northamptonshire Police he described the following moments: “Whilst outside he continued to wave the knife around shouting into the bus station 'I’m going to slash them', I continued to push him back.

"At one point I had hold of both his arms and I attempted to grab the knife, however, he managed to pull away and run towards the entrance doors near to bay 13.

"I ran after him and stopped him from gaining access. He then ran towards the entrance on Sheep Street. Concerned for everyone’s safety I contacted control to inform the police.”

At a ceremony on Thursday (May 10) Mr Fox received a £500 award presented by the high sheriff of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson DL, for helping to apprehend Massey who was later sentenced by His Honour Judge Mayo to 20 months in prison.

His Honour Judge Mayo was happy to recommend Mr Fox for this award in recognition of his 'extraordinary courage' and 'unselfish behaviour'.

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.

"One cannot understate the public’s admiration of our local constabulary when faced with more and more incidents involving knives and other horrendous bladed items. But what distinguishes their bravery from that of Mr Fox is that the police are issued with stab-proof vests and other devices to protect them.

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