Bravery awards for men who saved pregnant woman from knife attack

Three members of the public who rushed to protect a pregnant women from a frenzied knife attacker have received bravery awards from West Midlands Police − and hailed heroes by the force’s top officer.


John Mitchell, Anthony Smith and Callum Gibson ran to Natalie Queiroz’s aid in Sutton Coldfield town centre on March 4 last year on seeing her boyfriend Babur Raja lunge at her with a carving knife.

They managed to drag the 41-year-old away, wrestle him to the ground and prize the 10-inch blade from his grasp.

Ms Queiroz − who was 36 weeks pregnant at the time − suffered 13 stab injuries to her chest and abdomen but survived the attack. Doctors performed an emergency caesarean to save the life of her baby and she has also made a full recovery.

The heroic trio have now been recognised for their actions by West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson who presented them with Chief Constable’s Awards at a recent ceremony.
He said:

“If it wasn’t for the quick actions and bravery of members of the public who put their own lives on the line to save Natalie and her unborn daughter, this could have ended much differently and may well have been a murder investigation.

“I truly commend them for what they did that day and it was a pleasure to present them with the awards.”

West Midlands Police PCs Darren Knapper and Casandra Parry performed emergency first aid, applying dressings and tourniquets to Natalie’s wounds, before paramedics arrived.
They too received Chief Constable’s Awards, while six detectives who worked on the case and helped secure an 18-year jail sentence against Raja were also honoured.
After the sentencing in June 2016 Natalie said:

“I want to take this opportunity to give my heartfelt thanks and pay tribute to the courageous people who came to the aid of myself and my unborn child.

“Along with the West Midlands Police officers who were at the scene, the paramedics, crew of the Midlands Air Ambulance and staff at both the Queen Elizabeth and Birmingham Women’s hospitals…without them my daughter and I would not have survived.”