Bishops Itchington woman among police awards winners after standing strong against masked burglars

Barbara Holloway with The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox and Chief Constable Martin Jelley.
Barbara Holloway with The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox and Chief Constable Martin Jelley.
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A Bishops Itchington pensioner has been awarded for her bravery and public-spiritedness after she stood her ground against two masked burglars at her home.

For her actions, Barbara Holloway, 80, received a Warwickshire Chief Constable’s award at a ceremony at the Spa Centre in Leamington on Tuesday May 9.

Warwickshire Police's award-winning forensics team members with Chief Constable Martin Jelley.

Warwickshire Police's award-winning forensics team members with Chief Constable Martin Jelley.

Awards were presented by The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Tim Cox and The High Sheriff of Warwickshire Mark Davies.

She was just about to watch Emmerdale on Tuesday February 7 when she heard a loud bang.

Noticing the bedroom lights had been turned on at the rear of her bungalow she went to enter the bedroom but came face to face with a masked intruder.

She told the man to get out of her home and refused to let him pass when he said he wanted to go elsewhere in the house.

The man fled but as he did so, she then noticed another man, who left with a quantity of money.

Mrs Holloway was recognised not only for showing courage in initially confronting the masked intruder but also standing her ground when faced with two masked men.

Detective Inspector Alan Townsend was given a Police Long Service and Good Conduct medal for his long and meritorious service having joined the police back in 1996.

Special Constable Trudy Brown, Special Constable Joseph Dixon and Special Inspector Katrina Houston were all awarded medals in recognition of continued and efficient service as Specials.

Meanwhile, Long Service Certificates were awarded to eight police staff members - Valerie Cleal, Lorraine Goor, Mick Goor, Alison Jackson, Lynn Pickering, Sarah Prince, Jacqueline Whordley and Caroline Winn.

Special Constables Jamie Cole, Anthony Foxon, Simon Harvey, Matthew Iggo and James Wale were given certificates of appreciation in recognition of their dedication to duty and commitment during Operation Christmas Presence, where they worked more than 50 hours of their own time.

Detective Sergeant Neal Candelent, Detective Constable Marcus Franklin, Detective Constable Craig Varney and Detective Sergeant Paul Thompson received Chief Constable Commendations at the ceremony for their part in investigating the murder of Bethany Hill.

Bethany’s body was found at an address in Stratford on March 2016 following a 999 call to Warwickshire Police and a murder investigation was launched shortly afterwards.

In January 2017, Jack Williams and Kayleigh Woods were found guilty of Bethany’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

All four officers were commended for their hard work, determination and attention to detail in achieving justice for Bethany’s family.

More than 15 members of the force’s forensic team were also recognised for their diligence in identifying key evidence that was relied on at the murder trial.

They are: Gemma Davidson, Jane McCoy, Georgina McCarthy, Matthew Webb, Rachael Edwards, Hannah Clements, Daniel Warwood, Peter Baker, Elizabeth Oldham, Emma Higgins, Kevin Furlong, Matthew Barron, Glenn Chard, Matthew Toone, Amanda Harrison, Peter Hunter, Ian Best, Rebecca Rook, Claire Grace and Davinia Price.

The evening also saw a number of officers rewarded for their good work following a complex two and a half year sexual abuse investigation in Warwickshire.

The case went to trial in February 2017 and concluded with both male defendants being found guilty and sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment.

Detective Constable Paul Hinton and Police Staff Investigator Clare Cox were recognised for showing tenacity, diligence and considerable commitment to the task while Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Nigel Jones’ decision making and leadership was also commended.

The final award of the evening was presented to Jon Busby who has spent the last 45 years serving and protecting the people of Warwickshire.

He first joined Warwickshire and Coventry Police as a Police Cadet in September 1972 having just turned 16.

Two years later, he signed up to be part of Warwickshire Constabulary following its split from Coventry and on July 14, 1975 he became PC 503 Busby and was stationed out of Rugby.

He subsequently went on to join Rugby CID as a trainee Detective Constable and later joined the Regional Crime Squad investigating organised criminality until 1990 when he returned to Rugby CID.

During this time, Jon became a tutor Detective Constable helping to develop a number of senior officers of the future.

In May 2007, Jon retired as a Detective Constable only to rejoin as one of the first ever civilian Police Staff Investigators on the newly-created Major Investigation Unit.

Over the next ten years Jon worked on a large number of high profile investigations and was the officer in case for many including the fatal warehouse fire in Atherstone-on -Stour, as well as the murders of Sydney Pavier and Jordon Banton.

A role model for many, Jon has demonstrated the highest possible standards of fairness, integrity and impartiality and will formally retire on July 2, 2017.

His award is in recognition of everything he has done to support of the community and policing over the last 45 years.

Speaking afterwards, Warwickshire Chief Constable, Martin Jelley, paid tribute to the award winners.

He said: “I am incredibly proud to have been able to present these awards in recognition of the hard work and dedication of not only our officers, staff, and special constables but also of members of the public.

“As a force, we do everything we can to protect our communities from harm and I’m delighted to hear some of the extraordinary efforts of those who have gone above and beyond while in the line of duty.

“It is also wonderful to have the opportunity to recognise brave members of public and I would like to congratulate them, along with everyone else for their actions.

“All the recipients are thoroughly deserving of their awards and I am delighted to recognise these achievements.”

Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe, added: “These awards evenings are always uplifting and inspiring occasions.

“It’s very pleasing to see the hard work and dedication of officers and police staff being recognised, alongside members of the public who have shown great courage in moments of adversity.

“I offer my congratulations to each and every person who received an award.”