A City Council community protection (traffic) officer is to receive a special commendation after he sustained serious injuries following a murder and his attempted murder while on duty.
Fahad Ashfaq, aged 35, was just over two hours into his shift in Peel Street on the afternoon of Monday 29 January when he went to the aid of an injured woman. While he was helping her, a car struck both of them, killing the woman who was later identified as 51-year-old Janet Scott, of Arnold.
Police charged Simon Mellors, aged 56, of Berkeley Court, Nottingham, with the murder of Mrs Scott and the attempted murder of Mr Ashfaq. Mr Mellors died at HMP Manchester on Sunday 25 February.
Mr Ashfaq had been in the job for just eight months and had only recently passed his six-month probation period when the incident happened, leaving him with a fractured ankle, broken shin, a ruptured knee ligament and numerous cuts and bruises, which left him in hospital for three weeks. He is now back at home recuperating.
Mr Ashfaq said: “I’m still trying to take in what happened – the fact the woman I was helping was killed, my own injuries and that our alleged attacker in now dead. Over the course of a day we will sometimes come across very challenging situations but nothing could have prepared me for this.
“Because of my injuries I wasn’t aware until later that the woman had been killed, so my thoughts immediately went to her family who sadly have to cope with her tragic loss. I’m now just focused on getting better and getting back to work, but I’m extremely grateful for the excellent treatment I received from the staff at QMC, and for the support I’ve been given by my colleagues.”
Mr Ashfaq’s manager Senior Community Protection Officer Owen Williams said: “I am very proud of Fahad and the actions he took that day. As front line officers, these are incidents which we know could theoretically happen but are so rare, we never expect to.
“Fahad is a dedicated and caring person and has been completely selfless in the aftermath of what happened. His thoughts and concerns were with the family of Mrs Scott and with his colleagues who were involved in securing the scene. I am very grateful and extremely proud of the response of the whole Community Protection team and I look forward to welcoming Fahad back to work and to seeing him commended for his bravery.”
Mr Ashfaq will be awarded a Gold Commendation to recognise his actions to help Mrs Scott and the serious injuries he sustained in the line of duty.
Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services Councillor Toby Neal said: “This was a tragic incident and our thoughts are with those who knew and loved Janet Scott. Our thoughts are also with Fahad who suffered serious injuries and is only now starting to come to terms with what happened. He deserves the top honour we can bestow.
“Our staff in Community Protection can often be the first to arrive on the scene of serious incidents and I commend them for their bravery and professionalism. I was really impressed with the way the whole of Community Protection came together in very difficult, challenging and exceptional circumstances. They are a credit to themselves and the communities they serve.
“It is thankfully extremely rare for them to be seriously injured in the line of duty and we hope that Fahad makes a full recovery. We are providing him and his family, and colleagues who attended or were affected by the incident, with the support they need.”