Gwent Residents Commended for Selfless Acts of Bravery

16th July 2015

During a specially organised presentation ceremony held at Gwent Police's Headquarters in Cwmbran, Gwent PCC Ian Johnston and David Jenkins, the Chairman of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB), presented twelve members of staff from Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny and Newport resident, Fred Roberts, with a Gwent Good Citizen Award.

The Gwent Good Citizen Awards recognise the selfless actions of members of the public, their bravery or their work as community champions, all of which assist the police and the community.

The twelve members of staff from Nevill Hall Hospital were commended for their bravery in assisting their work colleague whilst she was being viciously attacked by her ex-partner. In September last year, 39 year old Royston Jones from Brynmawr walked into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny. Bare-chested and intoxicated on drugs, he attacked his 35 year old ex-partner. During the attack there were six critically ill patients within the Ward.

Royston Jones was so strong that it took several people to try and detain him. His former partner's colleagues eventually managed to pull him away and the staff showed great bravery in intervening and restraining Royston Jones who was found guilty of attempted murder and jailed for 15 years in February 2015.

Staff members (in alphabetical order) Laura Bumpsteed, Mathew Cole, Edward Curtis, Gary Davies, Pauline Franchi, Joanne Holvey, Melanie James, Peter Jenkins, Sheila Palmer, David Stratton, Kayleigh Williams and Ian Woods were all commended for the role they played in either administering first aid to the victim, trying to stop Royston Jones from attacking her or in pulling him off and restraining him until the police arrived.

Doctor Edward Curtis, a Consultant Anaesthetist at Nevill Hall Hospital, showed immense strength and courage by going to the rescue of the victim that evening. Edward himself was assaulted during the struggle but despite this he continued to try to protect the victim.

"We were very honoured to be recognised as a group today but it was the outcome from the day of the attack that was the most important to us," Edward explains.

"It was just a normal day up to that point and I was just about to leave the hospital to go home. The events that unfolded were frightening to say the least and very stressful. Hundreds of things were going through my mind when it was all going on. Everyone played an important role that evening and were absolutely fabulous in the way they handled it. It truly was a group effort."

Another individual receiving an award today was Fred Roberts from Newport. Fred was recognised and thanked for his bravery and selfless actions in extinguishing a fire at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport and then assisting with the evacuation of other patients. The fire had been deliberately started by a patient occupying a bed. With the bed alight, fire alarms were activated. At the time, Fred was visiting his wife who was a patient on the same ward.

Without regard for his own safety, Mr Roberts sprang into action and set about extinguishing the fire and tackling the blaze. After extinguishing the fire, Fred then helped evacuate patients with staff from the hospital. He was commended for putting the safety of others before his own during what could have been a serious incident had it not been for his quick thinking.

Congratulating all the recipients, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "It's important that we recognise the bravery and commitment of these special people who selflessly put the safety of others ahead of their own. Their actions during these frightening events prevented these incidents from escalating to have potentially catastrophic consequences. I would like to thank them all for the courage they displayed and congratulate them on their well-deserved awards."

Thanking all of the recipients for their selfless acts of bravery, Judith Paget, the Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB), said: "We are extremely grateful to all twelve members of our staff receiving Good Citizen Awards today. They put their own safety at considerable risk to help a colleague and to protect patients and other members of staff on the unit. Their actions that day went above and beyond the call of duty and their awards are thoroughly deserved."