Policeman praised for bravery

A POLICE officer has been praised by investigators today for his “extreme bravery” in rescuing three people from the wreckage of burning cars.Pc Stewart McIlroy was pursuing James Ratcliffe through Nacton village when the 23-year-old failed to stop at the junction of the A1156 and the Nacton village turn-off on January 13.

A POLICE officer has been praised by investigators today for his “extreme bravery” in rescuing three people from the wreckage of burning cars.

Pc Stewart McIlroy was pursuing James Ratcliffe through Nacton village when the 23-year-old failed to stop at the junction of the A1156 and the Nacton village turn-off on January 13.

Ratcliffe's Vauxhall Calibra crashed into a Seat Alhambra driven by 59-year-old Robert Parker, causing both cars to burst into flames.

Pc McIllroy, with the help of two members of the public, pulled Ratcliffe, Ratcliffe's girlfriend and Mr Parker from the vehicles.

Ratcliffe suffered serious injuries in the collision and spent three months in intensive care - he is still undergoing treatment as an outpatient.

Due to the nature of the accident the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was called into investigate.

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They have now conducted their inquiry and today praised Pc McIllroy for his bravery.

Len Jackson, IPCC commissioner, said: “Having examined all of the circumstances of this incident, the IPCC has concluded that Pc Stewart McIlroy acted proportionately and appropriately on this occasion.

“Beyond this, I would like to commend Pc Stewart McIlroy for his extreme bravery.

“Without concern for his own personal safety, on arriving at the scene of the collision, he immediately pulled three people from the burning cars.

“This selfless action undoubtedly prevented a greater tragedy for the victims of this incident.”

Ratcliffe of The Crescent, Great Horkesley, was charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop when required and driving while disqualified, following the accident.

He was also charged with driving without insurance, driving with no test certificate, having a defective tyre, possessing criminal property and obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty - offences which happened on a separate date.

He pleaded guilty and appeared at Ipswich Crown Court last month where he was sentenced to 64 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for five years.

Has a member of the emergency services saved your life? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink: www.ipcc.gov.uk

www.suffolk.police.uk

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