Milton Keynes Police Officer brought man “back from the dead”

Chief constable Sara Thornton with sergeant David Pegg
Chief constable Sara Thornton with sergeant David Pegg

A city police officer who brought a man “back from the dead” has been commended for his bravery.

Sergeant David Pegg says “instinct and experience” helped him save the life of a suspected shoplifter who lost consciousness after being put into a custody cell.

“It was a normal day,” said Mr Pegg, who works in the control room in Milton Keynes Police Station.

“A man in his twenties came in for shoplifting. There was nothing special about him at all. He was out of breath because he had been running from security, but there were no alarm bells.

“He didn’t talk to me when I went into the cell to retrieve his jacket. Normally they would move and start being uncooperative. From instinct – from experience – I went back to the CCTV cameras and kept an eye on him.”

Another sergeant went in to speak to him - and quickly raised the alarm that he needed an ambulance. Mr Pegg grabbed the first aid kick and headed to the cell.

He said: “He was on the bed and he was clearly dead. It was a bit of a shock because I had only been in there a couple of minutes before.”

Mr Pegg got him onto the floor and led his team as they began working on the man. Sgt Pegg managed his airway, while a colleague did chest compressions and another took control of the defibrillator.

Sgt Pegg said: “I didn’t really think about it. You just go straight into training mode. You know what you need to do – and we did it. We all worked together as a team.”

After a few minutes of working on the man, he regained consciousness. Soon afterwards, the paramedics turned up and took over.

Sgt Pegg said: “It was one of those cases where it was a normal day and a normal person comes into custody. There was no warning, we had no concerns for this young man and just suddenly it just happened. It was rather scary.

“You can imagine you are very calm and it is a normal day and then you are into a situation where you know the person is dead. The first feeling is shock, but it doesn’t last long – seconds. The training just takes over.”

The man went to hospital and was put into an induced coma for three days. He has since made a full recovery.

Mr Pegg, 48, from Buckingham, was commended at the Chief Constable’s Awards, which is the highest award the Chief Constable can give to recognise acts of bravery and self-sacrifice to the public.

It was stated his actions were “an exceptional example of supporting the Code of Ethics principles of integrity, fairness and selflessness”.

He added: “It doesn’t matter why the person is there. It doesn’t matter what they have done. The fact is, we had a duty and we are there to save a life – and we did it.

“I am not one of those people who blows their own trumpet. I believe in keeping your head down, but it is nice to get recognised.”