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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Man's reward for helping stop vicious attack on Carlisle policeman

A MAN who intervened when a former soldier was beating up one of Carlisle’s best known policemen has been hailed a hero by Cumbria’s High Sheriff.

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Attacked: PC Mac Maguire was off work

In a ceremony at the city’s crown court Juliet Westoll told Donovan Watson: “We all feel a lot safer having brave citizens like you around.”

Mr Watson was given a signed commendation and a £200 reward in recognition of the way he put himself between PC Gerard “Mac” Maguire and a thug who was attacking him in the street.

Carlisle’s Honorary Recorder, Judge Paul Batty QC, who put him forward for the honour, said he deserved the “highest of praise” for the way he intervened. He said he had gone “well beyond” what could be expected of a member of the community.

The case arose from an incident on August 27 in which Gary Roy White, 42, attacked PC Maguire after being told to move his car off the pavement outside the Botchergate takeaway from where he worked as a pizza delivery driver.

White punched the officer 16 times to his head and upper body, then kicked him about six times – the last kick lifting him bodily off the pavement.

The attack – caught on a CCTV film – continued until PC Maguire was left face down on the pavement, dripping blood from his face and trying in vain to use his radio to call for help.

Members of the public went to the officer’s aid, with one – Mr Watson – “bravely” putting himself between the stricken officer and his attacker.

The officer was left with bumps and bruises all over his face and head and suffered a suspected perforated eardrum. He was off work for five weeks.

In October White, of Scalegate Road, Upperby, Carlisle, was jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm. Judge Batty told him the attack was so violent he could have been facing a murder charge.

White claimed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the horrific sights he had seen during his army service.

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