Award for Newquay police officer after saving colleague who had been set on fire

PC Alan Lenton Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

A Newquay police officer has been handed a judge's commendation for saving a colleague who was set on fire - despite being doused in petrol himself by an attacker.

PC Alan Lenton rolled fellow officer Darral Mares, 51, on the floor to extinguish his burning uniform, saving Mares from more serious burns.

The pair were attacked by Blagovest Hadjigueorguiev, a 30-year-old homeless man, after they had attempted evict him from a field in Newquay in September.

Blagovest Hadjigueorguiev Credit: Cornwall Live

He poured liquid over the two officers from a glass cider bottle before throwing it on his campfire - which exploded and set PC Mares alight.

Judge Robert Linford, who sentenced Hadjigueorguiev to ten years and six months in prison, described PC Lenton as "brave and selfless".

PC Mares spent two days at Royal Cornwall Hospital being treated for severe burns to his legs and hand, and four weeks at home in a wheelchair as a result of the attack.

PC Darral Mares Credit: WMN

In a Devon and Cornwall Police statement, PC Mares said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support from my colleagues, friends and the local community.

“I have received numerous kind gifts, videos and written messages of goodwill from persons unknown to me from all over the UK and as far away as Australia.

“This has been not only very humbling but a beneficial distraction to the incident."

Since the commendation PC Lenton, who was not seriously hurt in the attack, said: “To mention all those who have sent kind words and gifts would take too long, but they know who they are – thank you. The messages have helped massively.”

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