Paul is the epitome of community spirit

PAUL Hill is not your average have-a-go-hero.The Ipswich grandfather has been involved in THREE community-spirited acts of selflessness, including the apprehension of the drug-driver who ploughed into a pair of teenagers and, more recently, an attempt to save a woman struck by a runaway van.

PAUL Hill is not your average have-a-go-hero.

The Ipswich grandfather has been involved in THREE community-spirited acts of selflessness, including the apprehension of the drug-driver who ploughed into a pair of teenagers and, more recently, an attempt to save a woman struck by a runaway van.

But despite his bravery, Mr Hill today played down his efforts insisting anyone would have acted the same way.

He said: “I'm that sort of guy - if I can help, I will.”

The first incident came in December 1999 when the now 49-year-old National Grid worker helped to pluck pensioner out of the icy waters of the River Orwell near Princess Street.

The 79-year-old man had fallen into the river after trying to retrieve his hat which had blown off as he walked near Zest nightclub, then called Kartouche.

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In May 2003, Mr Hill, of High View, Willisham, was on the scene as police tried to catch a man who had fled from his car following a crash in Ipswich.

He managed to wrestle the suspect, Zulfcar Ali, to the ground before officers arrested him. It later emerged that Ali was responsible for an horrific booze and drug fuelled crash which claimed the lives of youngsters Dean Bloomfield and Scott Towler.

Ali, who was later handed a ten-year sentence for manslaughter, had crashed in Key Street as police pursued him and had tried to run away before Mr Hill intervened.

Finally, Mr Hill rushed to the aid of Lynda Ling after she was hit by an un-manned van in Foxhall Road on August 30 this year.

He had been working nearby when he saw the accident and crawled underneath the van to try to help the 56-year-old mother. Sadly, despite his best efforts, Mrs Ling was pronounced dead at the scene.

Today, Mr Hill said: “I spent 21 years in the Territorial Army and it teaches you to manage situations and take control. I have also had first aid training and if you have that knowledge you can at least do something.

“If I find myself in another situation, there's no doubt I will help out again. I just try to be a good citizen.”

Mr Hill, who recently proposed to his partner, added: “My girlfriend is quite proud that I don't mind helping out but she worries that I'm going to get injured.

“It's so important people are not frightened in that position and that they speak to those involved to ask if they are ok or need help.”

He encouraged others to take the time to learn the basics of first aid.

He said: “If one person can read this and decide to do some first aid training and then help out in a difficult situation, it will have been well worth it.”

What do you think of Paul Hill's community spirit? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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