Charles awards PSNI officer Queen's Gallantry Medal

The Prince of Wales has praised a police officer who managed to handcuff a man after being stabbed in the head while trying to save a woman and two young children.

Sergeant Mark Wright was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal by Charles at Buckingham Palace.

The officer with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the prince described as "unbelievable" the actions he took when he entered a house where a man armed with two knives had assaulted the woman and locked himself inside with the two children.

Prince Charles praised the PSNI officer for his bravery (Yui Mok/PA)
Prince Charles praised the PSNI officer for his bravery (Yui Mok/PA)

Mr Wright, who is now based in Banbridge and still bears the scars of the incident in Lurgan, Co Armagh, six years ago said he was "extremely proud" to receive the royal recognition.

Following the ceremony in London, to which Mr Wright brought his parents and brother, he said: "He (Charles) said he found it unbelievable how you could do some of those things. And that we were very lucky to have people like me there to keep us safe."

He sustained serious head injuries during the incident when the man attacked him before trying to stab another officer in the throat.

Sergeant Mark Wright based in Banbridge is to receive the Queens's Gallantry Medal for bravery. #PSNI#KeepingPeopleSafepic.twitter.com/dHS5LCBvp5

-- PSNI (@PoliceServiceNI) January 30, 2017

Mr Wright continued to wrestle with the man despite the major gashes to his head and managed to subdue and handcuff him.

The arrested man was later sentenced to seven years in prison.

Mr Wright, 50, said the attack had had a "profound" effect on him but said he had no fears about returning to work.

He said: "It stays with you, there's no doubt about that but you just put it in its place I suppose. It could have been a lot worse."

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