Three police officers who risked their lives by grabbing a knife from a murderer have been hailed for their bravery.
Almost two years on from the tragedy, police chiefs yesterday held a virtual awards ceremony that recognises officers who have shone in the line of duty.
Constables James Will, Alison Davis and Dayle Crawford received a report of a man armed with a baseball bat breaking into Anthony McGladrigan’s house in Cumniestown near Turriff on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.
When they arrived at the rural property they were told by Mr McGladrigan’s wife that a man, Liam Hay, had forced entry, armed himself with a knife and stabbed her husband.
Hay, who stabbed Mr McGladrigan nine times, had been on a five-day drugs binge before the fatal attack.
He had been chasing after a friend, who was given refuge by Mr McGladrigan after he knocked on his door for help.
Police at the scene back in the summer of 2019. At the High Court in Glasgow in 2019, he entered a guilty plea to a murder charge.
Judge Lady Stacey ordered Hay to serve at least 19 years before he could apply for parole but this was later reduced to a minimum of 16 years following an appeal last year.
A Police Scotland spokesman praised the north-east trio for their intervention.
He said: “James, Alison and Dayle entered the property, disarmed and apprehended the male and provided immediate first aid to the victim. Despite their best efforts, the victim tragically succumbed to his injuries.
“James, Alison and Dayle’s initial actions at the scene were exemplary, without regard for their own safety and led to the assailant being rightly convicted of murder.”
Their recognition was part of Police Scotland’s Chief Constable’s Bravery and Excellence Awards.
Detective Constables James Dainton and Alison Fraser from the North East Division claimed an excellence award to help officers work with the deaf community in Aberdeen.
James, who can use sign language, set up drop-in sessions for deaf people and he began a collaboration with Aberdeen School for the Deaf where is considered a role model.
Alison developed a training module, which improved officers’ understanding of the deaf community and provided invaluable knowledge of how best to engage and communicate with the deaf community.
James said: “It feels pretty good to be recognised and I’m extremely grateful.
“We tried to do various things to build trust with the service and make sure it is accessible. I’m able to sign so had experience of speaking to the deaf community.
“You don’t do these things to be recognised I did it for the intention of improving equality. To be recognised is good because it what we are doing is extremely useful.”
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone presented 25 bravery awards to 31 police officers and 16 members of the public during the online ceremony.
Mr Livingstone said: “The last 12 months have underlined the relentless and challenging nature of policing.
“Officers and staff are playing a crucial role in supporting the national response to coronavirus. At the same time, they continue to meet the needs of our communities, providing day-to-day policing and responding to a number of demanding and high profile incidents.
“It is an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding policing which occurs all over Scotland, day in, day out, and to commend members of the public for the selfless acts of bravery and courage to help their fellow citizens.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all our winners and nominees and thank them for their commitment to public service.
“I’m also grateful to Police Mutual for their continued support of this important event.”
Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The Bravery and Excellence Awards allow us to reflect on selfless acts of courage which have made a real difference to people at their greatest time of need and to recognise the innovative and high-quality work by officers and staff from across the Service, the Scottish Police Authority and other partners.
“I want to thank all the officers, staff and members of the public, who were nominated for awards, for their service and support in these challenging times.
“I have always been proud of the dedication shown by our police officers and police staff, to keep us all safe, and the current pandemic has highlighted that the police workforce is highly adaptable in its response to new challenges.”
Martyn Evans, chairman of the Scottish Police Authority, said: “Congratulations to all winners and to those nominated for awards. These are truly extraordinary times but Police Scotland’s officers and staff continue to excel in challenging circumstances.
“The awards ceremony gives us the opportunity to celebrate just a small number of examples of bravery and courage but we at the Authority acknowledge that examples like these are being carried out across Scotland on a daily basis as officers and staff work alongside partners and members of the public to keep Scotland’s communities safe.”