Police officer nominated for bravery award after attack which exposed his skull

Police officer Chris Duffy, in black uniform kneeling and smiling, next to police dog Reno, black German shepherd, sat
PC Chris Duffy and PD Reno both sustained 'horrific' injuries during the attack -Credit:Nottinghamshire Police

A Nottinghamshire policeman was left with a seven-inch wound to his skull after being attacked by the brother of a man he was trying to arrest. Dog handler Chris Duffy - in tow his dog PD Reno - was called to the Sunnydale Inn in Mansfield at around 1am on March 11, 2023.

There were reports that seven people were threatening to smash the windows and assault the landlord. PD Duffy tracked down a suspect and detained him in an alleyway to search him, and as he did, a man who appeared to be a member of the public came along and asked to get past.

PC Duffy said: "Without warning or any sound, I felt a tremendous blow to the back of my head, jolting it forward violently. The force was enough that my body just gave away underneath it and I fell to the floor.

"I remember the thud of the blow, being kicked to the left side of my body. I was having punches aimed at my head, hitting me all over my face and body. Knowing I was now in a fight for survival I began kicking with all my power, while trying to protect my face with my left arm as my right hand was gripped onto PD Reno.”

The passer-by had turned out to be the suspect's brother, called Mason Perkins. He had attacked PC Duffy with an unknown weapon.

He fled the scene, while PC Duffy continued to keep hold of the arrested suspect and put in a call to colleagues about Perkins. When he managed to get up and walk to his vehicle he then saw Perkins and despite horrific injuries, chased him on foot and gave instructions to other officers on the radio.

Perkins was arrested and Duffy was taken to hospital. While there, he was told that he had been hit with a sharp instrument and had sustained a seven-inch, full-scalp depth laceration to the back of his head.

The weapon has never been recovered. PC Duffy was forced to take a month off work to recover from his injuries, which also included a black eye, and still suffers psychologically.

PC Duffy has now been nominated for a National Bravery Award for his actions in the face of adversity. The awards will take place on July 11.

He said: “I am extremely proud to be nominated for the award, it is very nice to receive such recognition for the incident. It is humbling to know colleagues think highly enough of my actions during the incident to nominate me for such an award. The nomination will mean a lot to my family and fiancé, who have supported me throughout.

Simon Riley, chair of Nottinghamshire Police Federation, said: “Chris’s bravery is astounding. For him to have managed to maintain control and complete the arrest of the first suspect is remarkable enough, but to then give chase after Perkins, despite his horrific injuries, and still have the presence of mind to think forensically is absolutely heroic."

Mason Perkins was jailed for 11-and-a-half years after admitting to grievous bodily harm at Nottingham Crown Court.