A hero student is being presented with a Citizen’s Commendation by Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable after saving a man from taking his own life.
In the early hours of the 20th April, James Grey, who is a computer games technology student at Manchester Metropolitan University, had been walking home towards Hulme Hall Bridge in Manchester when he saw a man leap over the bridge’s barrier.
The 30-year old was returning home from a friend’s house when he was stopped in his tracks after seeing the man and immediately went to help.
He said: “It was about 3am when I saw him go across the bridge. He looked injured and was clearly in distress and I just wondered - what is this man doing? I tried to get his attention, but initially he wasn’t really talking to me and was looking at the road and positioning himself to jump off.
“After a failed attempt at getting a response from him I decided to climb over the barrier and join him so that we could have a chat.”
It was in between this period when a lorry slowed down and the driver of the vehicle contacted police.
James added: “The man was in a lot of distress so I sat with him and found out what had led him to be there. We both shared some life experiences and when the police arrived I asked them to stay away as this appeared to agitate him.
“I convinced him that the world wasn’t as bad as he thought and went to hospital with him.”
Since the incident James has been contacted by the man who has said thanks.
He is being presented with his award on Wednesday 9 August at GMP’s Hough End Complex.
Originally from Northamptonshire, James has said that he would take such action again if it meant he was saving a life.
Speaking about his actions, he said: “The man was in a dark place and I’m just glad I was there at the time. It was just lucky that I was there as it was a random time of the morning.
“Receiving the award is a real honour, however my actions were what I would hope anyone else would do. A man was clearly in distress and needed help and so I took it upon myself to do just that and help.”
Chief Inspector Laura Marler from the City of Manchester Division at GMP said: “When our officers arrived at the scene two men could be seen on the wrong side of the barrier. One had his legs dangling from the parkway and the other was talking to him. Officers blocked off the road to make the area safe and approached the pair.
“James was with a man on the bridge at the time and when our officer’s spoke to him he asked to be given some more time while he spoke to the man. While the officers at the scene asked for him to consider his own safety and to talk to him at the other side of the barrier he still insisted on staying where he was as he was sure he would be able to get the man back safely.
“Without his actions I think this story could have had a very different ending, which is why I thought it was important for him to be presented with this award. Courageous acts like this don’t happen every day and I know from experience that there aren’t many people willing to risk their own life to save another. I am sure the man he saved is also eternally grateful.”