Policeman hailed for bringing shoplifter ‘back from the dead’

Chief constable Sara Thornton with sergeant David Pegg
Chief constable Sara Thornton with sergeant David Pegg
  • Sergeant David Pegg saved a shoplifter’s life when he passed out in his cell
  • He noticed on CCTV that something was up so rushed to perform mouth-to-mouth
  • Mr Pegg was commended at the Chief Constable’s Awards

A policeman who brought a man ‘back from the dead’ has been commended for his bravery and ‘selflessness’.

Sergeant David Pegg saved the life of a suspected shoplifter who passed out in the cell he was being held in.

He was on the bed and he was clearly dead”

David Pegg

The 48-year-old from Buckingham grabbed a first aid kit and rushed to the man’s side to perform mouth-to-mouth while a colleague began chest compressions.

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

“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.”

The man, in his 20s, was brought into Milton Keynes custody on February 2, 2014 and was in a coma for three days at hospital but has since made a full recovery.

Mr 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.

“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.

“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.

Mr Pegg was commended at the Chief Constable’s Awards at Eynsham Hall near Witney yesterday. It is the highest award for acts of bravery and self-sacrifice.

His actions were described as an ‘exceptional example of supporting the code of ethics principles of integrity, fairness and selflessness’.

Mr Pegg said: “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.”