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Boxer And Life-Saving Pub Doorman Awarded By Mayor

28th September 2017
News, Mansfield

A pub doorman, who potentially saved someone's life, and a veteran local boxer who boxed for 52 years, were among seven people who were awarded Mayor's Commendations this week.

Doorman Alex Smith, who works at the Market Inn, spotted a man lying precariously on the wall of the nearby 60ft railway viaduct in August. He ran up on to the viaduct, woke up the sleeping man and brought him down to safety, staying with him until police arrived. 

Presenting him with his commendation at the full Mansfield District Council meeting last night, Executive Mayor Kate Allsop said: "Our CCTV department felt that the outcome could have been very different if not for your quick thinking and bravery that night."  

The Mayor also presented an award to boxer Steve Ward, of Mansfield, who has been boxing for 52 years, during which time he won 136 of the 148 amateur matches he has fought. 

Steve picked up the sport when he was just nine years old and fought his first match at 11.  In 1977 he turned professional, retiring from the ring in 1988 after fighting 60 professional matches.

However, he returned to professional boxing in 2010, four years after he was told he would never walk again following a tragic accident in which a quarter of a ton of concrete fell on his foot.

He started boxing again for the European Boxing Federation at the age of 54, travelling the world to compete, winning 10 veteran matches, for which he was awarded the Federation's Belt of Achievement, Champion of Champions.

Other award recipients were Gary Varnam, of the council Street Cleansing team, council Neighbourhood Warden Tony Bower, and PC Ian Dickson and PC Amy Whitehouse, who were all commended for their work in collaring a serial graffiti tagger in the town.

Gary, took it upon himself to meticulously log every instance of the graffiti he was asked to remove, which helped Neighbourhood Warden Tony build evidence and a profile of a likely culprit.

From this they were able to suggest a suspect and the two police officers then took up the case and managed to build on Gary and Tony's evidence. It culminated in the suspect admitting 40 offences of criminal damage. 

Another recipient of the awards was council CCTV operator Mick Turnbull who helped the police in two incidents of knife crime in the town. 

By trawling through hours of CCTV footage, he enabled the police identify a man who carried out a knifepoint robbery in the town in August. 

Mayor Allsop said: "Whilst the police could not trace the offenders at the time of the offence, the CCTV operators were able to identify them, their vehicle used and direction of travel, including the driving of the vehicle the wrong way up a one way street."  

Mike's beady eyes and years of experience also helped avert a potential knife crime incident in the early hours of a Sunday morning in July when he spotted a group of men acting suspiciously.

Zooming in on them on the town centre cameras, he was able to see that one of the men had a long bladed knife up his sleeve and alerted the police. He was also able to work out from the cameras who the likely victim was going to be and was able to help direct the police and enable them to intervene before the two men met.

Mayor Allsop said: "A serious incident was only seconds away as the suspect and potential victim were about to meet but, thanks to Mick's help, the police were able to detain the knife carrier just in time. I feel safer knowing Mick is there watching."  

Mayor Allsop added: "We are really proud of the actions of the winners of my awards this time. I was delighted to have so many, all very worthy nominations."

The Mayor's commendations are awarded at each full council meeting to any group or individual, who lives or works in Mansfield, and has gone the extra mile to make the district a better place. Nominations for them can be emailed, giving reasons why a group or individual should be commended.


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