Farmer commended by police for bravery

Martin Coates receiving his award
Martin Coates receiving his award

A farmer from south Leicestershire has been given commended for his bravery after preventing a man from committing suicide.

Martin Coates (53) of Burton Lodge Farm, Burton Overy, was given the bravery commendation by Leicestershire’s Chief Constable Simon Cole in a ceremony at police headquarters in Enderby last week.

After the ceremony, a modest Mr Coates told the Mail: “It was just something I did on the spur of the moment.

“It’s not something you expect, and I’ve never been in that sort of situation before. I just did what I did and that’s it.”

Mr Coates had been approaching a farm bridge over the A6 north of Kibworth on Friday, June 19 at about 6.30am when he saw a young man take his shoes off and clamber up on top of the bridge’s railings.

Mr Coates got out of his car, grabbed the man and pulled him backwards off the bridge to safety.

“It was just a reaction” he explained. “I didn’t realise what he was doing at first.”

He then managed to restrain the man and calm him down for 15-20 minutes until the police arrived.

“He was struggling a bit and saying ‘It’s not worth it’ and ‘I can’t do it’” said Mr Coates.

“You couldn’t really talk to him, it was just a case of holding him down. Fortunately, he was only a little chap.”

On the arrival of police on motorbikes and an ambulance, the young man was taken to Glenfield Hospital where he was admitted.

Mr Coates said he hadn’t expected any publicity or an award for his actions, but had been persuaded it would be “disrespectful to turn it down”.

The Leicestershire Police citation says: “There is no doubt that Mr Coate’s quick thinking, fast action, and ability to restrain the male alone until the police arrived, saved the life of this young man.”