Proud Winners of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Our Brave Hero Award Finalists

 

Our Brave Hero Award – Finalists

KEITH HARRIS - POSTHUMOUS

Sentencing killer Michael Long to life imprisonment, Judge Patrick Field QC hailed Long’s victim, Keith Harris, a hero for trying to help his friend, Terrence Moore, who was being attacked inside the Premier store on Ainsworth Road, Radcliffe. “Keith Harris did not stand back and watch. Without a moment’s thought for his own safety, he instinctively and courageously came to the rescue,” said Judge Field “He acted instinctively, without a second thought because, clearly, he still had an item of shopping in his hand as he began to tackle you and he he had no time to put it down. “This was, without any doubt, a selfless act of bravery on his part.” Earlier this month Long, aged 36, of no fixed address, was unanimously found guilty of Mr Harris’ murder by a jury at Manchester Crown Court. Long was also convicted of intentionally trying to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Moore and he pleaded guilty to possessing a knife and cocaine, and causing serious injury to Gaynor Hall by dangerous driving as he crashed into her car while trying to flee the scene. She suffered a fractured sternum. The court had heard how Mr Harris and Mr Moore were accosted by drunken Long in Ainsworth Road, Radcliffe, just before 7.30am on August 15 last year. When a request for a cigarette was refused Long went to his girlfriend’s house nearby, armed himself with a knife and tried to attack and rob Mr Moore as he walked to the nearby Premier convenience store. As they fell through the store door Mr Harris, who had walked on ahead, tried to help his friend and was fatally stabbed in the chest by Long. Giving evidence, Mr Moore had told the court how he heard the attacker utter the word “die” as Long plunged a knife into Mr Harris’ chest. Even then, Long tried to claim to shocked store staff and shoppers that the men had tried to rob him and continued to punched Mr Moore as he tried to tend to his dying friend. Long then fled the scene fled, crashing a Citroen car at the junction with Wilson Road. When he was arrested and in the police van, he attempted to snort cocaine from a bag he had on him. Long admitted he stabbed Mr Harris but denied it was murder. He claimed to have no recollection of the attacks, alleging that he had spent the previous night drinking 12 cans of strong lager and taking cocaine. At the sentencing hearing a victim statement from Mr Harris’ father, David, was read out. He told how Mr Harris, is the youngest of five children and described how he and his wife had seen him the day before he died. He was excited about starting a new job as a decorator.

 

PHILIP CLAYTON

Philip Clayton took the attacker to the ground after seeing the man pull a claw hammer from his waistband and swing it at another person. The 49-year-old, who has worked as a doorman in Bury for 16 years, has been described as a brilliant member of staff who would put his neck on the line for anyone. He was with his wife Lilian walking towards Morrisons in Breightmet, Bolton, at about 2pm on Wednesday when they saw two men fighting outside the doors. Children were crying and other shoppers were shouting. When one man grabbed the hammer and began to swing it at the other person, Mr Clayton jumped in to stop the fight. After he pulled the man to the ground, Mr Clayton and another member of the public held him down for more than 10 minutes until police arrived. Mrs Clayton said she was “very proud” of her husband’s actions. She said: “I’m always proud of him, he didn’t even think — he just helped everyone around him.” Mr Clayton works for Bury-based security company CNN and has been the doorman for The Monkey House in Silver Street for the past five years. He has also begun working at the newly opened The Elephant's Trunk and HOPS World Beers & Gin Bar, also in Silver Street, Bury. Charles Daubney, the owner of the three venues, said: Phil has worked with us for a number of years. He is brilliant. We are really proud of him for what he has done in this scenario. But it is not out of character — he is this kind of person. Phil would put his neck on the line to help people. This is something he would have done for anyone. However, Mr Clayton said he had hardly thought about what he was doing. He said: “To be honest my instincts kicked in and I just did what I do. It just happened. “When I first saw the fight I was wondering what was going on but they were both giving as good as they were getting. “It’s just about the safety of the people who were there, there were kids around and my wife as well so I had to protect her.” Mrs Clayton said the children in the area were crying and people were shouting as the fight was going on. Police said they were called to the scene after reports of a disturbance in the car park. Officers arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of affray. He remains in custody for questioning. No one was injured in the incident but inquiries into exactly what happened are still ongoing.

 

POLICE DOG MOJO

Police dog (PD) Mojo will receive the PDSA Order of Merit for his devotion to duty after he helped search the Arena for bombs just minutes after the concert attack on May 22 last year. PDSA director of fundraising, Nigel Spencer, said: Mojo’s actions on that fateful night enabled the emergency services to carry out their vital work, by helping to search and clear the area of potential secondary devices. Mojo worked tirelessly under conditions he’d never experienced before. For that devotion to duty and service to society, PDSA is honoured to recognise him.” Handler said that Mojo appeared disturbed by the carnage inside the Arena, but still performed his duties like a professional. Mojo searched around the injured victims to make sure that the area was safe and clear of further explosives. “Mojo was working well but he was somehow different. It was as though he didn’t want to be there, among the carnage that surrounded him. But despite this he worked on through the night. Mojo retired from police duties in August, but his service will always be remembered. “There is no doubt that what Mojo experienced that night had a lasting effect on him, as it has all of us.