(Above) Sergeant Mark Wright being presented with his 999 Hero Award with Emmerdale star Gaynor Faye and Miss Northern Ireland, Anna Henry
Sergeant Mark Wright based in Banbridge has won the 999 Hero Award at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards which took place on Friday 16th June in the Culloden Hotel.
Sergeant Wright, put his own life in danger when he was called to a house in Lurgan in February 2012, where a man, was ‘dangerously out of control.’ The man had assaulted a number of females in the house and then locked himself inside with two very young children.
Unknown to Sergeant Wright, the man was armed with two knives. However, realising the seriousness of the situation, and with two children inside, he attempted to force entry. He was then stabbed by the man wielding both knives and suffered serious head wounds. Despite his injuries, Sergeant Wright wrestled with the man, who also tried to stab a colleague in the throat. Trying to prevent injury to anyone else, Sergeant Wright apprehended the man and handcuffed him.
Speaking after the Ceremony Sergeant Wright said: “I was honoured to have firstly been nominated for the Award, but then to win it was just fantastic. I joined the police 20 years ago so that I could help others within our community and on that night in question I was just doing my job protecting the individuals within the house. I am totally thrilled and also humbled to have won this Award.
“I had a great night at the Awards and delighted that I was able to meet so many of the other winners and hear their stories.”
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “I want to congratulate Sergeant Wright on receiving his Award. I know that he will be delighted with winning it. He truly deserves it and it is a wonderful achievement Our officers are out on duty day and daily across Northern Ireland to keep people safe and receiving this Award is testament to the work which they do. This is the second year that our officers have won the 999 Hero Award. Sergeant Wright put his life in real danger and doing so protected and indeed saved the lives of others.”
The Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards provide an opportunity to pay tribute and celebrate everyday heroes throughout Northern Ireland.
Earlier this year Sergeant Wright received the Queens’s Gallantry Medal for bravery.
The Awards show will be televised in a one hour special on UTV on Wednesday 21 June at 8pm.
(Below) Sergeant Wright on stage with the Award Presenter, Pamela Ballantine.