Bravery award for former policeman

Mark Horsley and Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell
Mark Horsley and Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell

AN EX-POLICEMAN who risked his life to save a stranger after he had doused himself in petrol has been honoured for his bravery

Scarborough man Mark Horsley, 58, was presented with the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Appreciation after selflessly saving the man, who had attempted to set himself alight.

The incident happened on May 2 last year at Scalby Mills Petrol Station, and Mr Horsley recalls the dramatic events that unfolded on that Sunday morning.

He said: “I was on my way to the Blues Festival with my friends, and as I pulled into the station, I noticed a guy with a little green tin, which I didn’t think anything of until I noticed there was no cars.

“All of a sudden, I smelt a really strong smell of petrol from him, and he started to sweat.

“I just thought that he was going to blow the place to pieces.”

Without thought for his own safety, the former protection officer reverted back to his time in the force and struggled with the distressed man in order to take possession of the lighter he had planned to use to set himself alight.

“He just had a thousand yard stare, it was clear that he just wasn’t there” said Mr Horsley of the man, who then fled the seen before being tracked down a short time later by police before being taken to a local hospital.

And Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell, who presented Mr Horsley with his award, commended his bravery in helping to prevent a “tragic” scenario.

He said: “The bravery shown by Mr Horsley goes far above and beyond that which could have been expected of him when he was serving as an officer, let alone that of a member of the public.

“Mr Horsley is an example to all.”