The team of officers who were first on the scene following the stabbing of James Wallington on the North Farm industrial estate in Tunbridge Wells last year have each received a certificate of merit for commitment and professionalism during the incident.
Inspector Matthew Atkinson, PC Nicholas Atkinson, PC Andrew Baldry, PC Miles Booth, Sergeant Ian Murphy and Sergeant Michael Perryman received the recognition at the Divisional Commander’s awards ceremony on June 22.
The officers were called to the Cory Environmental Recycling Centre shortly after 6am on March 9, 2015, after reports of a serious assault, but upon arrival found the victim with serious stab wounds.
Despite their best efforts to save Mr Wallington’s life, the victim’s injuries were so substantial that he passed away at the scene.
However, they successfully apprehended the offender David Squelch, who had stabbed the victim 14 times in just 15 seconds moments after the two colleagues had arrived for work in the same vehicle.
Squelch, a 49-year-old dustman from Paddock Wood, received life imprisonment for murder on March 22 this year after the jury at Maidstone Crown Court rejected his defence that he was out of control during the incident – he must serve a minimum of 22 years.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, which took place at Hadlow College, Chief Superintendent Julia Chapman, the Divisional Commander for Kent Police’s West Division, said: “This is just a selection of the excellent work my officers do on a daily basis to protect and serve people in West Kent.
“Each day they serve with unwavering professionalism and it fills me with great pride to have such a dedicated group of officers.”