Brave police officer detained blood-covered suspect before trying to save murder victim David Teague

PC Ian Murphy, left, tried to save the life of 33-year-old David Teague, right. Credit: Durham Police/Family photo

A police officer who detained a suspect at a murder scene in County Durham and tried to save the victim’s life has been commended for his bravery.

PC Ian Murphy was the first officer to arrive at the scene of what he believed to be an assault in Esh Winning, near Durham, in April last year.

It was in fact the location where 33-year-old David Teague was thought to have been subjected to significant injuries over a number of hours – leading to his death.

On the day of the incident, Road Policing Unit officer PC Murphy discovered a group of around four men trying to get into a locked property.

Members of the group, all described as being agitated and drunk, were claiming that someone had been stabbed to death inside and the suspect was still at the scene.

While trying to hold back the crowd, PC Murphy smashed a window with his baton and detained a blood-covered suspect through the window, holding on until back-up arrived moments later.

Once colleagues were on the scene and able to make arrests, PC Murphy entered the building alone – unsure whether there was anyone else inside.

The officer found the body of Mr Teague, who had suffered very significant injuries to his head and chest.

A machete was found nearby.

PC Murphy immediately started CPR in an effort to save Mr Teague’s life, but the victim did not recover.

Robert Askew was jailed in November 2021 for life for the murder.

Robert Askew was jailed for life for the murder of David Teague. Credit: Durham Police

PC Murphy has now been awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation for his courage.

The officer has also been nominated for a Police Federation Bravery Award.

Durham Police Federation Chair, Andy Jackson, said: “PC Murphy demonstrated outstanding courage in confronting a dangerous male, with a propensity for extreme violence, who might still have been armed.

“Furthermore, he had to contend with an angry mob, intent on causing the attacker harm, whilst formulating a plan to deal with the situation.

“He entered the address alone, not knowing what danger he might face before additional resources arrived. In doing so, he put himself at great risk of potential harm to try to save the life of another.”

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