Fareham teenager commended for comforting dying accident victim

Joseph Miles
Joseph Miles
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A Fareham teenager who comforted a dying accident victim has been commended by police.

Sixteen-year-old Joseph Miles cared for Julie Corben in her last moments after the crash outside her home.

He is one of a number of people commended by Hampshire Police in annual awards.

A police spokesman said: ‘He showed great courage when faced with a truly horrific scene.

‘While he sat in his bedroom on June 15 last year he heard a loud bang. When he looked out of the window he was confronted with the aftermath of a serious road crash at the junction of The Avenue with Catisfield Road, in Fareham.

‘Without a second thought he was on the phone to the ambulance service as he ran down to see how he could help.

‘He ran to the side of the female motorcyclist lying in the middle of the road and offered her words of comfort in her final moments.

‘Julie Corben’s injuries were not survivable but the last thing she would have been aware of was this lovely young man demonstrating such kindness and compassion under very traumatic circumstances.

‘Joseph displayed a level of maturity and consideration for others that belies his years and experiences.

‘Joseph has been awarded a Chief Constable Commendation for remaining clam and composed at the scene of a serious road traffic accident; offering comfort to the victim and support and consideration to those at the scene in very tragic circumstances.’

His was one of a number of awards made by Hampshire Constabulary to celebrate the bravery, dedication and professionalism of some of the best in the force, as well as those members of the public who have shown great courage when faced with some truly threatening and daunting scenes.

The Chief Constable’s Awards are a chance for us to recognise excellent police work that saw officers go above and beyond their duty and to thank the bravery of members of the public.

Acting Chief Constable Graham McNulty, joined by the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson, had the honour of presenting the awards at a special ceremony on Friday and throughout this week we will share the inspiring stories of those recognised.

Acting CC Graham McNulty said: “This ceremony is an excellent opportunity to highlight the brilliant work of officers, staff, volunteers and members of the public across the two counties.

“We have seen acts of extreme bravery, remarkable teamwork, tremendous detective ability, great compassion and a desire to serve and support the communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“It is an absolute honour to be able to present these awards to such deserving people.

“We are immensely proud of the dedication of our officers and staff and it is always a tremendous pleasure to recognise the contribution members of our community make to keeping our counties safe and in helping us to protect the vulnerable.”

The ceremony also saw a number of local officers and staff receive their long service medals.

DC Jacquelin Doran and PC Michael Florit received Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medals.

Kerrie Lacey, Susan Bray, Wai Bennett and Carolyn Lovell all received Police Staf Long Service Certificates.

Other recipients were:-

DCI Eleanor Hurd

It was one of the most challenging murder investigations DCI Hurd and her team have ever worked on.

Majella Lynch was subjected to a humiliating, sadistic and brutal murder in her Southampton flat in 2014.

Not only was the victim a vulnerable lady who led a chaotic lifestyle, the suspect, Daniel McBride, repeatedly denied responsibility and the nature of the injuries were unlike any the team had come across before.

This on top of the complex nature of the forensic material gathered and the lack of an obvious link between victim and suspect, it would have been easy to believe that no charge could be secured, let alone a murder conviction.

But thanks to the sheer resilience, tenacity and the professionalism of the investigation team, they secured justice for Majella, who remained at the forefront of their minds throughout.

CCTV obtained was poor but the work done was painstaking, extensive and comprehensive to bring all the evidence together into an interactive presentation to help the jury to understand the compelling nature of the evidence.

The judge, Mr Justice Akenhead, commended members of the team for the excellent work which proved crucial in getting a guilty verdict.

DCI Hurd has been awarded a Chief Constable Commendation for exceptional leadership skills, victim focus and professionalism in a prolonged and challenging investigation, resulting in the conviction and lengthy custodial sentence of an extremely dangerous offender.

DC Donna Kay

They were one of Hampshire’s most prolific burglary gangs having targeted more than 70 homes and stealing £500,000 worth of high-value cars.

But thanks to a well structured investigation led by DC Kay, the trio are behind bars facing lengthy prison sentences.

Theo Smithard-Powell, his girlfriend Ellis McMillan and Dale Ward were sentenced for a total of 17 years for their part in the conspiracy that saw 72 homes targeted in Hampshire and 14 in Berkshire during a six month period.

Operation Fireside involved extensive and detailed investigation enquiries into the hundreds of items seized.

DC Kay had been awarded a Chief Constable Commendation for commitment, professionalism and hard work to secure the conviction of three offenders and to ensure their substantial prison sentences reflect their offending and criminality.

DC Jonathan Ramchurn

Operation Wedding saw the dismantling of an influential drugs gang working out of Basingstoke.

The CJ drug supply network peddled large amounts of heroin and cocaine across the county.

Through his local knowledge DC Ramchurch identified the principle suspects and saw the need for an investigation.

As intelligence built the group were identified as an organised crime gang and the team set about a plan to dismantle the gang and prevent further offending.

A second network was also uncovered and the team carried out various investigative techniques forming a dynamic and dedicated operation that ultimately resulted in nine people jailed last year for a total of 31 years.

DC Ramchurn has been award a Chief Constable Commendation for initially identifying key suspects and working outside his own experience level resulting in a well structured investigation securing charges and ultimately lengthy prison sentences for members of an organised crime gang.

Thomas Randall

Thomas Randall showed outstanding bravery when he came to the rescue of a young woman as she was being sexually assaulted in Portswood.

Shumel Ahmed had hid in the bushes ready to pounce on the 19-year-old woman, who he subjected to a severe beating before raping her and threatening to kill her as she screamed desperately for help.

It was only thanks to 20-year-old Thomas, who having heard her screams, bravely confronted her attacker allowing her to get away.

He was then himself attacked, knocked to the ground, before Ahmed fled the scene.

But Thomas’s help didn’t stop there – he identified the scene to police which was quickly preserved and crucially contained important forensic evidence including the attacker’s hat.

Within 90minutes of the attack officers had arrested Ahmed and when they searched his phone they found a selfie showing him wearing the hat discovered at the scene.

The victim and her family have expressed their sincere gratitude and if it wasn’t for Thomas’s actions, the consequences could have been a lot worse.

In July last year Ahmed received a total of 14 years in prison for the attack having pleaded guilty.

Thomas has received a Chief Constable Commendation for outstanding bravery when confronting an attacker, enabling the victim to make good her escape and securing the scene which contained crucial forensic evidence leading to an early arrest and subsequent lengthy prison sentence for the offender.

Olivia Amat

Olivia acted with immense bravery when confronted by two masked men who forced their way into her own home in the New Forest.

While being physically violent towards her, she was able to bite one of the offender’s hands and as she tried to take off his balaclava, scratched his face.

Despite threats of further violence she continued to scream, alerting her neighbours to the attack, forcing the offenders to flee empty handed.

But it was the scratch that would prove to be crucial as a fingernail scraping identified one of the men responsible, Mark Hopkins, 52, and he was later found guilty by a jury and jailed.

Had she not fought back, this offender may never have been identified and brought to justice.

Olivia has received the Chief Constable Commendation for outstanding bravery when confronted and attacked by two masked intruders in her home having the presence of mind to provide crucial evidence to investigating officers leading to the identification and subsequent imprisonment of the offender.

Patricia Hatherley and Linda Yorke

These two women showed immense bravery and courage when confronted with a serious assault taking place in Fareham last year

A 66-year-old man was being viciously beaten by a 34-year-old man using a steering lock in Wagtail Way on August 27 last year.

Without a thought for their own safety, the pair ran over to help, tackling the attacker who continued to hit his victim, who by this stage was lying on the ground.

Eventually they managed to pull him off and he fled the scene.

Both women, aged 74 and 68, believed that due to the level of violence the victim could have been killed. Had they not intervened, this could have very well have been the case.

They were also able to identify the attacker, Malcolm Dutton, who was arrested and charged. He pleaded guilty and is due to be sentenced later this month.

They have received a Chief Constable Commendations for outstanding bravery when faced with a serious assault and intervening to physically fight off and then subsequently identify an attacker who was intent on causing serious life threatening harm to the victim.

A/S/Sgt Sam Berry

Since April 2015, Acting Sergeant Sam Berry has already completed in excess of 568 hours, 112 of these in November alone. Sam is by far the highest performer in Southampton and a real asset to Hampshire Constabulary. Sam can be relied upon to deal with any incident appropriately and effectively with minimal to zero supervision and is an excellent officer who shows great competence and initiative in his work and his working knowledge of law is very impressive.

As well as taking on the role of Acting Special Sergeant Sam also took on the role of Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officer (LAGLO) in March 2014. For a Special Constable to take on this extra work is impressive.

He has been recognised for his exemplary leadership, dedication, enthusiasm and tireless work to ensure the Specials Resource Unit at Southampton work together, adding value to the district.

Southampton Specials Resource Unit

The Southampton Specials Resource Unit was set up by Special Inspector Bagshot as a pilot scheme to bridge the gap of providing dedicated resources, promote the Special Constabulary and ensure there was a motivated and appropriately trained team of people that could be called upon to assist with a wide variety of duties and offer an additional and more resilient tactical option for regular officers.

Although the Specials Rescourse Unit (SRU) is in its infancy there has already been a lot of positive feedback and numerous Specialist Departments beginning to put in bids to utilise the team. It is envisaged that this model will be rolled out to the rest of the county within the next three months due to its current success.

A special mention also went to A/PS Andy White from the Goldstone Team who took over the Child Sexual Exploitation Guardian Angel initiatives, which was piloted in Portsmouth last July, and keep the project running.

The team has received a Chief Constable Commendation for their dedication, tireless effort and significant contribution to Hampshire Constabulary.