Public and police awarded bravery medals

18:37, Dec 01 2013

Three people who tried to thwart a paranoid family member who shot his son are among 17 people who are to receive bravery awards.

Others on the special honours list for this year's New Zealand Bravery Awards are:

A police officer who stood between a gunman and wounded colleagues

An elderly woman who tried to fend off a man who was attacking his mother with a sword

Seven police officers who rescued a shot colleague

A truck driver who intervened after two people were stabbed


Four men who rescued people from burning vehicles.

Georgina Langford and Michael Wardle receive the New Zealand Bravery Decoration (NZBD), which recognises acts of exceptional bravery in situations of danger, while the other 15 get New Zealand Bravery Medals, which recognise acts of bravery.

Ms Langford was 21 and at her rural home near Nelson with her mother and bedridden stepfather when another family member, Ian Boyd, who was suffering from paranoia, arrived with a shotgun, intending to kill his son Brendon.

Ms Langford and her mother Jan Boyd attempted to make him leave.

"Ms Langford then attempted to push him and the shotgun out of the house, but he also pushed her aside and shot his son in the chest at almost point-blank range," her award citation says.

Ms Langford then grabbed the barrel of the gun with both hands and tried to pull it from Boyd. Her mother told her to let it go, which she did, and he left the house, taking his own life later in the night.

Mrs Boyd, a nurse, looked after Brendon until emergency services arrived. A coroner said her efforts undoubtedly saved his life.

Her husband, John Boyd, who was bedridden with multiple sclerosis, tried to distract his brother Ian in a bid to allow the others to escape. The couple both receive bravery medals.

Sergeant Michael Wardle, currently stationed in Nelson, receives the bravery decoration after two police officers were shot and police dog Gage killed in Christchurch in July, 2010.

After the two officers were shot by Christopher Smith, he then aimed his rifle at Mr Wardle, but his rifle jammed. Outside, the man again aimed his rifle at Mr Wardle, "who stood his ground and maintained a position between him and the other officers", his citation says.

Mr Wardle, who was a constable at the time, has already received a New Zealand Police Association Bravery Award for helping to save the life of one of the shot officers, Bruce Lamb.

Truck driver Jade Lynn is awarded the NZBM for intervening after two people were kidnapped and stabbed in Christchurch in March, 2012.

Mr Lynn tried to reason with the knifeman in the middle of the road, then distracted the offender, while shouting at passers-by to stay away and lock their doors.

Christchurch great grandmother Lois Kennedy receives the NZBM for going to the aid of a neighbour whose adult son was attacking her with a blunt samurai sword.

Mrs Kennedy, who was 81 and had impaired vision, went outside without her walking frame. She came across the attack and swung her hearth brush towards the sound of the man's voice, connecting several times. He kicked at her and she returned to her house to ring police.

Seven police officers receive the NZBM for the rescue of Constable Jeremy Snow, shot four times in an Auckland driveway in December 2009.

They are Detective Gregory Cater, Constable James Collins, Detective Constable Edward Luxford, Constable Johan Mulder, Constable Liam Pham, Sergeant Christopher Turnbull and Constable Andrew Warne. Some carried Mr Snow to a patrol car while others provided cover.

Four men receive the NZBM for rescuing people from burning cars.

Martin Kay of Wellington and Colin Wiggins of Hastings helped save the drivers of a light truck and car which crashed and erupted into flames near Hastings in October, 2010, while Amberley men Ken Reilly and Mark Allen pulled a woman from a burning car in North Canterbury in May, 2011.

The awards will be presented at an investiture ceremony, at a date to be confirmed.

The Dominion Post