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Award for hero police officer

Posted onPosted on 27th Nov

A Mansfield policewoman has received a prestigious award for her role in apprehending a rampaging killer.

“I only did what any other officer would have done in my position,” said Pc Kay Yelland as she risked her own life.
Now she has received the PC Ged Walker Award, named in memory of the Ollerton officer after he was killed on duty in 2003.

The award winner is chosen each year by his widow, Tracy Walker.

On Good Friday 19th April, 2019, it had been a normal day for Pc Yelland when a call came it to say a man had been smearing crosses in blood on children’s heads.

As she rushed to the scene with blue lights flashing and sirens blaring, the force control room made her aware that the man had stolen a car and was driving at high speed through Ashfield. Gavin Collins, who was high on drugs, then ran over and killed 87-year-old Terry Radford in Mansfield Woodhouse.

Pc Yelland knew that she was the first responder to the incident and, for the very first time, has described her thoughts and feelings as she travelled to the scene and how she used her car as a barrier to stop Collins.

She is sharing her story on Saturday as part of the Notts Police: Operation 2020 documentary that is broadcast on Notts TV, the force’s YouTube channel and the Nottinghamshire Police Facebook page.

Pc Yelland said: “I travelled to the scene from Mansfield Police Station and as I was driving the control room updated me that they believed the man had just kidnapped a woman and run over an elderly gentleman, who needed urgent medical attention.

“The control room gave me the details of the vehicle, which was a SEAT Leon, and I remember looking for that vehicle coming towards me as I was coming down Mansfield Woodhouse High Street.

“I thought if I saw the car coming then I would turn my car into it to stop him harming anybody else.

“I continued on towards Worcester Avenue where I saw him coming off someone’s driveway and I put my vehicle in front of his car to try and block him in, but then he proceeded to ram my police vehicle and we were sort of nose to nose on the street.”

Collins had run over Terry Radford, who PC Yelland saw was in a serious condition.

“I could see that there were several people at the bus stop and there was an elderly gentleman lying on the floor,” said the police officer.

“I remember thinking, if the male (Collins) got out the car then I would run him over, but he didn’t get out. I got out of my car and then he got out of his.

“There was sort of a bit of a confrontation, him shouting threats towards me.

“He got back in the car, reversed through somebody’s wall on Melbourne Street and proceeded to ram my police vehicle. I thought, while he’s doing that at least he’s not going around hurting anybody else.

“I was just trying to keep him there at the scene until help arrived.

“All I could think was I have got to stop him before he goes on to cause any further injury. He was capable of killing again and so I had to stop him.”

Pc Yelland’s bravery allowed officers to attend the scene and apprehend Collins, originally from Tibshelf. He was subsequently convicted of manslaughter by diminished responsibility and sentenced to a minimum of 14 years imprisonment in July.

After choosing PC Yelland to receive the PC Ged Walker Award, his widow, Tracy, said: “I think when I read the scenario that Kay had gone through, she showed the determination that I thought Ged would have shown by not letting this offender go at all costs.

“She chose to put herself in a position where she could have been harmed and she didn’t know what the end result would be.”

Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford added: “The actions of Pc Yelland were truly outstanding.

“Her bravery and determination in the face of life-threatening danger was not only inspiring, but also probably prohibited Collins from harming anyone else.

“This sort of action goes above and beyond anything else and is truly remarkable.”

Pc Yelland added: “It’s a huge honour and I was completely shocked when I was told that I had won this award.

“Basically, I didn’t think I’d done anything that other police officers wouldn’t do.

“Police officers every day put their lives at risk to help people and protect the public. I’m sure if anyone else would have got that call at the same time I was there they would have done exactly the same as I did.”