Stab policeman among those honoured

A heroic police officer has collected the force’s highest award for bravery just days after he was stabbed while protecting worshippers at a Birmingham mosque from a knifeman.

PC Adam Koch, 31, two sergeants and a colleague were honoured for their bravery at a special awards ceremony in Birmingham last night.

The four received Chief Constable’s Commendation awards, for the courage they demonstrated in May last year when they entered a gas-filled flat to search for a baby who had been stabbed by his father and left to die. Police received a 999 call reporting that a woman had jumped from a first floor window of her home on Tyebeams, Shard End, after being assaulted by her partner. The woman’s neighbour reported that the attacker had also started a gas leak and had a one-year-old child held hostage in the flat.

Sergeants Tony Webb and Simon Patten and PCs Adam Koch and Darren Street were the first to arrive on the scene, attempting to arrest the suspect and ensure the baby’s safety. Despite the dangers from gas fumes they unsuccessfully searched the property for the child and his father, then searched outhouses after reports that the man had been seen leaping from the first floor window. The brave officers pushed aside their own safety concerns to rescue the child who was in the clutches of a violent man believed to be armed with a carving knife.

They found the man with multiple self-inflicted stab wounds and the child with a major chest wound. The man was arrested on suspicion of wounding and pleaded guilty to attempted murder in court last December. He was handed an indefinite hospital order and sent to a secure mental health unit for constant psychiatric treatment.

The team’s inspector, John Stolz, nominated the four for the honour. He said: “Police officers take a step forward when many take a step back and while lots of officers and other emergency service personnel attended the incident, these four officers put themselves directly in harm’s way. Without their brave intervention, I have no doubt that the child would have died and a violent offender would not have been brought to justice.”

The awards evening proved to be an emotional reunion with his colleagues for PC Koch, who was given a standing ovation from an audience which included senior officers and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Yvonne Mosquito. The officer – who has served with the force for six years – continues to recover from serious stab injuries to his chest and stomach following the incident at the Washwood Heath Road mosque last Saturday. A man was arrested in connection with the attack on PC Koch and three worshippers who were also injured and later sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He remains in a psychiatric hospital.