Police Officers Nominated for Bravery Award Following Fatal Dog Attack

by Lisa

In a tragic incident that unfolded in Caerphilly in November 2021, Jack Lis lost his life after being attacked by a dog at a residence. Sgt Ross Phillips and Sgt Isabelle Coulson, responding to the distressing scene, were recently nominated for a St David Award for their courageous actions in confronting the 96lb (43kg) dog, known as Beast.

Reflecting on the nomination, Sgt Phillips expressed mixed emotions, acknowledging that the honor was “tempered” by the devastating loss of Jack. Recounting the chaotic scene they encountered upon arrival at the Penyrheol estate, Sgt Phillips described the delicate balance of rescuing Jack while ensuring the safety of bystanders from the aggressive dog.


Sgt Coulson’s quick thinking and bravery proved pivotal as she distracted the dog, allowing Sgt Phillips to enter the house and retrieve Jack. Despite their efforts, Jack was tragically pronounced dead at the scene, succumbing to severe injuries to the head and neck.


The subsequent legal proceedings saw Brandon Hayden and Amy Salter imprisoned in June 2022 after admitting to owning or being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog.


Reflecting on the incident, Sgt Phillips admitted its lasting impact, revealing that the memory resurfaces almost daily due to its tragic circumstances and the loss of Jack.


While the St David Awards ceremony, held recently, did not result in victory for Sgt Phillips and Sgt Coulson in their category, the officers expressed gratitude for the nomination, emphasizing their commitment to fulfilling their duty.

Meanwhile, another nominee, Lia Elis-Thomas from Pwllheli, Gwynedd, secured the Young Person award. Lia’s bravery and resilience shone through as she shared her experiences of domestic violence at home and her role as a young carer for her disabled brother. Determined to inspire others, Lia highlighted the importance of speaking out and seeking support in challenging circumstances.

Another remarkable tale of bravery came from Callum Smith, 17, from Rhondda Cynon Taf, who unexpectedly found himself saving a man’s life during a walk. Despite lacking formal training, Callum’s instinctive response prevented a tragedy, earning him the Bravery Award.

In a heartwarming message, Callum emphasized the importance of supporting distressed individuals and urged vigilance in looking out for one another.

These stories of courage and resilience serve as reminders of the extraordinary acts of bravery and kindness within our communities, inspiring others to step up and make a difference in times of need.


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