I’m no Bruce Lee, says police officer stabbed in attempt to detain killer

An off-duty police officer who was stabbed in the leg while attempting to detain a violent killer has said he is “no Bruce Lee”, after being included on the King’s first Civilian Gallantry List.

Police Constable Steven Denniss was walking his dogs, Cooper and Zorro, in the Hubbard’s Hills area of Louth, Lincolnshire, when he came across double murderer Daniel Boulton.

He said: “On the day they (Cooper and Zorro) were absolutely useless, they just ran with me because it all looked like a big game.

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Daniel Boulton was detained at Hallington House Farm, on the outskirts of Louth, Lincolnshire after stabbing Pc Denniss (Joe Giddens/PA)

Pc Denniss, 44, was not wearing a stab vest or any protective gear when he confronted Boulton, but managed to avoid Boulton’s attempts to stab his upper body.

He told the PA news agency: “He’s tried to stab me several times in the torso, all over my upper body really.

“I’m no Bruce Lee or anything like that – arms and legs were flailing and nothing managed to get hit for whatever reason, and then he managed to stab me in the top of the left leg.”

Boulton travelled 28 miles on foot from Skegness to Louth in order to fatally stab his ex-partner Bethany Vincent, 26, and her nine-year-old autistic son Darren Henson, on May 31, 2021.

He led Lincolnshire Police on a manhunt until the following day, where he came across Pc Denniss.

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The murders prompted a 24-hour manhunt (Joe Giddens/PA)

“Once you then have what’s called an adrenaline dump, so once you’ve disengaged from that, generally that causes you to start shaking and you don’t really know where you are, what happened.

“Obviously I’ve been in the job so long and I have had incidents I’ve been at, nearly as dangerous as that, where I’ve been fighting with some really nasty people, so you tend to control that adrenaline quite a lot.

“I’m not trying to sound like some superhero here, I’m just trying to explain it the best I can.”

He added: “Unfortunately, as sad as it seems, I don’t like losing. I’m very competitive.

“In your mind, at the time, you just turn it into something where he’s not going to beat me, I’m going to win, no matter how long I have to run for, climb fences for, I am going to get this person.”

Boulton was jailed for life with a minimum term of 40 years in February 2022, after being convicted of two counts of murder after a trial at Lincoln Crown Court.

Pc Denniss continued: “If I could go back in time and Bethany and DJ were still alive and I never had to come into contact with him, never had to chase him and never got a medal, I’d be happy with that.

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Police in Louth after the deaths of Bethany Vincent and Darren Henson (Joe Giddens/PA)

“I don’t see it as being a superhero or anything, I just see it as doing my job, that’s what I’ve said since this incident started and nothing’s changed.

“I did what I get paid to do really and I was off-duty but the fact of the matter is you’re never really off duty until you retire.”

He said he was a bit overwhelmed to be included on the Civilian Gallantry List, adding: “But I also don’t want to forget the reason why.

“It’s not because of what I did on that day, I don’t want to forget the victims.

“The victims are what it’s all about and those families who have lost their loved ones, that’s all you really think about.

“I’m proud of what I do every day, I’m proud to be a police officer.”

He continued: “The fact of the matter is, I count myself as lucky really.

“He could have stabbed me somewhere else, he could have nicked the artery in my leg, I could have been disabled or dead.

“But you can’t think like that, I was lucky on the day, we as a force managed to arrest him and managed to get him into custody for 40 years so we’ve done our job and it’s on to the next.”

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