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Family awarded for bravery and community spirit


A family of three from Ashton have been commended by the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police for their efforts in bringing a criminal to justice.

The Rothwells - Ian, 58, Lorraine, 56, and their son Bradley, 23 - were recognised at a ceremony at Hough End on Thursday 19th January for their bravery and community spirit when tackling a burglar.

In the middle of the night on 16th April last year, Ian and Lorraine were woken by the sound of someone trying to climb into the bedroom window of their home in Ashton.

Ian managed to push the offender out and the male dropped and made off through the gardens, entering another property through an open bedroom window. Sleeping in the bedroom was a lone female, who the man proceeded to attack and sexually assault, demanding money.

By this point, although unaware the man had gone into another house Ian realised that the offender would have to make his way back out of the cul-de-sac and woke his son Bradley, to help.

Lorraine stood at the bedroom window where she could see the offender near the railway line and directed Ian and Bradley. They hid and managed to apprehend the man until officers arrived.

The man was eventually sentenced to eight years in prison and without the Rothwell’s intervention he may not have been caught - no DNA or fingerprints were left.

Mr Rothwell said: “During the incident adrenaline kicked in and I wanted to find and stop the man before he escaped.

“I was a little apprehensive when approaching the male as I was unsure if he was armed with a weapon and I didn’t want to put myself or my son’s life in danger.”

Bradley Rothwell said: “Both I and my dad acted on impulse. We are a tight community so it just came naturally to protect our neighbours. We are so lucky to have a really good community who look out for each other.

“I was really proud to receive my award but it did come as a surprise as I just wanted to keep my community safe.”

Lorraine Rothwell spoke highly of her husband and son and said: “I am so proud of them, they showed moral courage and managed to detain an offender due to their quick thinking and actions.

“We were all frightened at first, especially me, but I knew I had to help so I stayed in the house as I had a view of the area which Ian and Bradley didn’t have. We worked as team to detain the male.”

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “The residents of Sunnyside Grove showed great community spirit and bravery whilst working with the police to detain the offender. This for me epitomises the fantastic public support Greater Manchester Police have.

“Due to their quick thinking we were able to ensure the offender was brought to justice. I hope this has given some piece of mind to the victim, who suffered a horrific crime. It’s fantastic to see members of our community working together and looking out for each other in times of need. It’s a lesson we can all learn from.”

© Greater Manchester Police 2017