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A heroic Islington police officer who was voted Scotland Yard’s bravest has said he couldn’t have achieved what he has without his colleagues.

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Sgt Steve Brown tackled Samurai sword-wielding maniac Ahla Timofei in Tufnell Park Road, Holloway, after he had sliced off a woman’s thumb in a Christmas Eve attack in 2012.

After a battle in which the sword came inches from slashing Sgt Brown’s face and neck, he eventually managed to disarm Timofei using his CS spray and baton, cuffing him before backup arrived on scene.

In an interview with the Gazette in December, the officer admitted he feared he had seen his last Christmas when facing the madman, who was found to be carrying an arsenal that included knives, two swords and a crossbow.

Timofei will spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital after being found guilty of attempted murder and affray.

More than 6,600 people voted for Sgt Brown to win the Outstanding Bravery of the Year Award at the Metropolitan’s Police Total Policing Awards, fending off stiff competition from five fellow officers, one of which braved freezing waters to rescue a woman trapped in a sinking car on a lake and another who single-handedly foiled a £50,000 armed robbery.

Courageous

He had already won recognition for this courageous work at the Islington Police Commendation Awards in December.

Sgt Brown, who accepted the award at a ceremony on Wednesday (January 22), said: “I’m honoured, it was a wonderful day and I can’t believe how many people voted for me.

“It’s all a bit embarrassing though to be honest, I was just doing my job – but it’s nice to be recognised and told you’ve done a good job.

“I’ve been getting a bit of stick from colleagues but to be honest, that’s what you need in this job.

“It’s the group around you that help you get through some of the awful things you have to see and without them I couldn’t have won this award.”

The prize was one of 20 handed out at the ceremony, which covered policing across 32 London boroughs.

Other awards included best thief taker, detective of the year, volunteer of the year, outstanding reduction in crime, innovative use of technology and excellence in victim care.

Another winner on the night was Hackney Police’s Jill DiMartino, who picked up the police staff of the year award.

Since volunteering to take over Hackney’s struggling Voluntary Police Cadets, Ms DiMartino’s efforts in encouraging young people to join has seen membership grow tenfold to 100 – diverting many youngsters away from involvement in gangs and violence.

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