Joining honoured police officers at an annual county awards ceremony was a Lincoln teenager who was thanked for his assistance with a high-profile city murder case.
Lewis Barnard, now 17, was 16 years old when he spotted a police appeal on Lincoln’s news website The Lincolnite which triggered alarm bells.
Lewis had witnessed a crucial moment which became central in arresting and sentencing the man who murdered Lincoln mum Mingzi Yang in the Sincil Bank area.
He said: “I first spotted the appeal for information on The Lincolnite with the contact number for the police. The death was described as suspicious.
“I’d been outside playing football with a few friends and told mum that I’d been outside the house in the morning.
“I actually saw Mingzi come out of the house with her child and then I saw the man now jailed for the murder, Wai Hong Tsang, come around the corner and go through an alley way into her house.
“The next day the police came round and I gave a statement in the afternoon. In the summer there was the court case and I had to go to court and give a statement via video link, that was actually during one of my mock exams.
“I was quite nervous, but now it’s all come to a close and I’m being recognised, it feels great.”
Lewis’ mum Catherine Bending added: “We live about a five minute walk away and I’d got home and was scrolling through the day’s news and originally it said a body had been discovered.
“Living on Sincil Bank I actually made the assumption it would be drug related. We get a lot of crime in that area.
“When Lewis told me, I said maybe we should ring the police and tell them what he had seen, not realising how vital the information actually was.
“I’m extremely proud and although it was daunting for him at a young age, the detectives in charge were really supportive.”
Lewis was presented with a Lincolnshire Police Public Appreciation Award for providing information which led to the arrest and conviction of the murderer.
The Evening of Thanks and Awards at Lincolnshire Police HQ in Nettleham on June 25 saw eleven police officers, four special constabulary officers and two charities receive special awards.
Awards were presented by guest of honour, High Sheriff of Lincolnshire Air Vice-Marshall Gavin Mackay.
Bowel Cancer UK and St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice shared an impressive £8,500, raised as Chief Constable Neil Rhodes’ chosen charities.
Neil Rhodes said: “Lincolnshire Police has always been a family force and the ceremony is all about thanking people for their dedication and hard work in a job which required them to perform above and beyond.”
Sergeants Jonathan Birkin and Stuart Fortune and Constable Paul Dowman received Chief Constable’s commendations for their efforts in saving the life of a man who had attempted suicide and lost two litres of blood. The ambulance and medical team said that the man would have died without the combined and sustained efforts of the officers to save him. The man made a full recovery.
Sergeant Philip Muirhead and Constables Julian Laybourn and Stephen Robinson were commended for their swift and decisive actions when they were called to a distressed mother whose three month old baby had been taken by its father. Their immediate actions and investigations led to officers from South Yorkshire arresting the father and finding the baby unharmed.
Special Constabulary officers who received recognition of their volunteer service to the community were Special Superintendent Mathew Klewzyc, Special Sergeant Brian Hunter and Special Constables Gillian McBride and Roderick Munro.