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St Paul's Cray church attack hero Stephen Izegbu commended for his bravery
A ‘COMPLETE HERO’ who tackled an armed masked man on the day he became a British citizen has been commended for his bravery.
At a special commendation ceremony at Hendon Stephen Izegbu, of Rushet Road, St Paul’s Cray, was honoured for his actions on the night of July 31 last year.
He was in his pyjamas in his home when he heard a commotion coming from the nearby St Barnabas Church.
Not stopping to change into other clothes he rushed across the road and saw Malcolm Holland attacking an elderly woman with a stick.
Mr Izegbu wrestled Holland to the ground and during the struggle he received a blow to the head.
But he held on to the 56-year-old attacker with another member of the public until the police arrived.
His actions managed to stop Holland’s rampage which started when he smashed the church windows and attacked the reverend and her family before damaging their cars.
He then forced his way into the church where he then attacked five elderly people who were there as part of a choir.
During the assault Holland, who was wearing a mask, had armed himself with a stick, a lump of concrete and was later found to also be in possession of a lock knife and a meat cleaver.
A witness said Mr Izegbu 'was like superman coming to the rescue' and one of the victims said he was a 'complete hero'.
And Detective Chief Inspector Andy Furphy from Bromley police said: "It gives me great pleasure that the Metropolitan Police Service have honoured the bravery of Mr Izegbu, who with great courage and without hesitation put himself in danger to protect others.
“He had only that day become a British Citizen yet he entered a very violent situation knowing that it was dangerous and tackled an armed man to the ground, restraining him even after sustaining a head injury.
“He showed no regard for his own safety, putting the lives of others above his own.
“If it were not for his selfless actions I am sure there would have been further and more serious injuries."
Malcolm Holland was detained under the Mental Health Act in November after pleading guilty to 10 charges at Croydon Crown Court.
The court heard he had been very depressed about the death of his wife and had blamed God for taking her.