Twin who saved sister in crocodile attack honoured on King's first gallantry list

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Published Time: 14.05.2024 - 03:40:36 Modified Time: 14.05.2024 - 03:40:36

Two police officers who confronted murderers are also among the nine people on this year's Civilian Gallantry List

Two police officers who confronted murderers are also among the nine people on this year's Civilian Gallantry List.

News reporter @niamhielynch

Tuesday 14 May 2024 01:19, UK

A 31-year-old woman who saved her twin sister from a crocodile attack in Mexico will receive a bravery honour after being included on the King's first Civilian Gallantry List.

Georgia Laurie, from Sandhurst in Berkshire, punched the reptile in the face when it attacked her twin Melissa in June 2021.

Both women were seriously hurt but survived after treatment.

Georgia will receive the King's Gallantry Medal, which acknowledges exemplary acts of bravery.

Ms Laurie said the medal was an "honour" that left her "so shocked".

"I didn't see it coming, I didn't expect it.

"I feel really privileged, it's a silver lining to have come out of the terrible ordeal... it kind of softens the whole traumatic experience," she said.

"It's been a good thing for not just me but for the whole family, I feel like I have to share it with my sister because, let's face it, I don't think I would have been nominated for it if she didn't survive.

"What's made this story so incredible is Melissa's unwavering bravery throughout it all because she was so strong during it and I don't think I would be here without her, she really gave me the strength to keep fighting."

The twins were swimming in a lagoon near Puerto Escondido when Melissa was dragged under the water.

Melissa survived with an open fracture to her wrist, severe puncture wounds to the abdomen and many injuries to her leg and foot, while Georgia was bitten on her hand.

Georgia added: "The further away it gets, the less it feels real.

"But then something like this happens and it puts it all back into perspective again, like wow, that actually did happen, it's a crazy story.

"Because when you think about it, it does sound like a horror movie, but it's part of the tapestry of our life."

Police officer Zach Printer, who confronted gunman Jake Davison unarmed on 12 August, 2021 in Keyham, Plymouth, is also included on the King's Civilian Gallantry List.

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Davison killed his mother Maxine, 51, and then shot dead three-year-old Sophie Martyn, her father Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66.

PC Printer was attending to Mrs Shepherd when he saw Davison carrying the firearm.

He immediately sprinted towards the 22-year-old, telling him to stand still in the hope he could talk him down. Davison then took his own life.

The officer was acknowledged for his "selfless and brave actions" while confronting Davison, which prevented further harm to others.

Among the other recipients is PC Steven Denniss, who was stabbed in the leg when apprehending a double murder suspect while off-duty in Louth, Lincolnshire, in June 2021.

PC Denniss was walking his dog when he spotted Daniel Boulton, who was wanted for the murder of his former girlfriend Bethany Vincent, 26, and her nine-year-old son Darren Henson the previous evening.

Without any protective equipment, PC Denniss tried to detain Boulton until colleagues arrived, and was stabbed by him while on the phone with police.

The officer chased Boulton until he was joined by armed officers, before the suspect was arrested and later charged and jailed for life with a minimum term of 40 years.

This year's Civilian Gallantry List, which includes nine people, is the first to be approved by the King.

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Also on the list are Lawrie Elsdon-Dew, for protecting others during fierce fighting outside the British embassy in Sudan in April 2023, and Stacey Farrington and Jake Walker, who stopped a speeding car travelling the wrong way on a motorway using an ambulance.

The King's Commendation for Bravery is set to go to Stephen Ellison, who rescued a stranger from a river in Chongqing, China, in November 2020.

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