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Bravery award for sword attack officer

PUBLISHED: 18:21 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:03 23 August 2010

HERO: PC John Clarke receives his award.

HERO: PC John Clarke receives his award.

A POLICE officer who was seriously injured when he was struck with a samurai sword has been honoured for bravery. PC John Clarke was awarded the Chief Constable s Commendation at the Kent Police Commendation ceremony in Maidstone last Wednesday. As feat

A POLICE officer who was seriously injured when he was struck with a samurai sword has been honoured for bravery.

PC John Clarke was awarded the Chief Constable's Commendation at the Kent Police Commendation ceremony in Maidstone last Wednesday.

As featured in the Reporter, PC Clarke went to an address in St Hilda's Way, Gravesend, last October to arrest martial arts expert Richard Skeates, who was believed to have mental health issues, for breaching his ASBO.

When officers forced entry, Skeates struck PC Clarke on the head with the sword. Despite being injured, the officer used his Pava spray. However, it didn't work properly and to prevent Skeates causing any more injuries, he knocked his attacker to the floor. PC Clarke said: "It's great to feel that your efforts are recognised by your superiors and this is a very high accolade which only encourages me to work harder. Dangerous situations do occur when trying to bring offenders to justice. However, the teams we work in are very close and it's like meeting up with your best friends every time you start a shift. It is this support from your colleagues that helps you tackle and cope with situations like the sword assault on me."

Skeates, 45, was jailed for 11 years at Maidstone Crown Court on July 10, with a recommendation to serve a minimum of five-and-half-years, for causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Kent's Chief Constable Michael Fuller said: "I never fail to be inspired by the selflessness shown by the winners of these awards. It gives me enormous pride to thank those receiving them, on behalf of the force and the community.

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