Police officer praised for hauling man back from edge of Orwell Bridge
The actions of a police officer in hauling a man back from the edge of the Orwell Bridge have been praised by the force.
Pc Matt Kidd-Stanton was travelling westbound on the A14, just after midnight on February 9, when he spotted a stationary Ford Transit van in the nearside lane of the opposite carriageway.
Noticing torchlight weaving away from the open driver’s door, Pc Kidd-Stanton doubled back at Wherstead to find the abandoned van’s engine still running.
Inside, he saw an empty wine bottle, empty beer cans and a plastic bag of unopened beer cans.
Describing the incident before Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, where the van driver appeared this week, prosecutor Colette Harper said: “Pc Kidd-Stanton looked to the top of the bridge and saw a faint light about halfway up the footpath.
“As he approached, he saw a male with one leg up over the side.
“The office grabbed hold of the man by his clothing – mindful he could also have been pulled over.
“There began a struggle, at which point, another officer ran up and restrained the defendant, who was argumentative and not prepared to listen.
“He was taken to the safety of a lay-by, where a special constable provided further assistance.”
In court, Kyial Booth admitted driving with 142 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – four times the legal limit.
The 29-year-old, of Buxton Road, Colchester, will be sentenced on April 1 following an alcohol rehabilitation assessment.
Duty solicitor Mark Holt said Booth had significant personal mitigation, which he hoped would persuade the court to rule out an immediate custodial sentence.
“He was not represented at the police station and was less than forthcoming, but was in a fragile state of mind,” added Mr Holt.
“Realising his predicament, he didn’t want to jeopardise his liberty, but now realises he acted very poorly. He was in a desperate state of mind, but acknowledges endangering himself and other road users.”
Booth was released on unconditional bail and handed an interim driving ban.
Chief Superintendent Tonya Antonis said: “As with any incident we respond to, the safety of the public is our number one priority. We are proud that Pc Matt Kidd-Stanton acted in the best traditions of Suffolk Constabulary and hope the man involved continues to receive the help and support he needs.”
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