A police officer saved the life of a colleague who was set on fire after being doused with petrol in a horrific attack

A hero cop has been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards after valiantly saving his colleague from a horrific fate. He came to the aid of a colleague doused in petrol and set on fire in a horrific attack near Newquay.

PC Alan Lenton and PC Darral Mares acted on behalf of two bailiffs on September 11, 2020 as they attempted to evict a man from land near the popular resort and owned by Prince Charles.

PC Alan Lenton rolled fellow officer Darral Mares, 51, on the ground to extinguish his burning uniform, saving Mares from more serious burns, it was said at the time. the Police Federation of England and Wales has now said he “bravely saved the life” of his colleague as he is recognized for his role that day.

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The bailiffs had already tried twice to serve the eviction notice but had been subjected to violent threats and a refusal to comply. PC Lenton and PC Mares then accompanied the bailiffs on their third eviction attempt later that morning, but the man still refused to pack up and leave the site.

The incident escalated extremely quickly when the man threatened to set officers on fire. He backed up his threats by opening a glass bottle containing gasoline and standing near an open flame, which he had lit with a homemade stove. Realizing the danger they were all in, officers rushed to stop the man from carrying out his threats.

However, as they walked towards him, the man managed to douse gasoline from the bottle he was holding on them, instantly igniting PC Mares. PC Mares spent two days in Derriford Hospital for severe burns to his legs and hand and four weeks at home in a wheelchair following the attack.



PC Darral Mares

A spokesman for the Police Federation of England and Wales said of PC Lenton’s bravery: “He knew he had to act immediately to try to save his colleague’s life, and despite the the fact that he had gas on his uniform and was in danger of taking the light himself, he dragged his partner away from the main fire and into tall grass.

“He then rolled PC Mares on the ground to extinguish the flames while bailiffs intervened to pin the man to the ground. Once PC Lenton removed PC Mares’ burnt clothing and administered first aid, he went to the help of the bailiffs to bring the man under control.”

Devon and Cornwall Police Federation chairman Andy Berry said: ‘It was incredible bravery and quick thinking and it is highly likely that Alan saved his colleague’s life during this horrific incident.”

The attacker, Blagovest Hadzhigueorgiev, 30, poured the extremely flammable liquid over the two officers from a glass cider bottle before throwing the rest on his campfire – which exploded and set PC Mares on fire . Judge Robert Linford sentenced Hadjigeorgiev to ten years and six months in prison and said of PC Lenton: “It was a brave and selfless act by one policeman acting to help another.”

Prior to the incident, Hadzhigueorgiev had several people visit him and ask him to leave, but authorities continued to receive reports of antisocial behavior and wash him in plain sight at Newquay Tretherras School.

The 2022 Police Bravery Awards will take place in July 2022, celebrating the bravest of the brave. A total of 77 candidates from 39 forces in England and Wales will be honored at the ceremony.


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