Heroes broke up South Shields street fight involving 16 people

Two heroes who risked their own safety to stop a street fight have received national recognition.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 9:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 1:59 pm
From left, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, Paul Cooper, Dean Jukes, and Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen

Paul Cooper and Dean Jukes were waiting to board a train at South Shields Metro Station in March last year when an argument broke out on the platform between a man and a group of 15 teenagers.

Shortly after 7pm on March 23 last year, an altercation occurred between a man and a group of 15 young men and women at South Shields Metro Station.

The argument soon descended into a violent confrontation, with the man throwing punches at one of the group, resulting in the teenagers knocking him to the ground, repeatedly punching him.

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After Paul and Dean stepped, the group left the station – but the man followed them.

The man attacked another youngster, which instigated a sustained attack by the group, resulting in him being repeatedly kicked and punched on the floor.

Paul and Dean again bravely stepped in and remained at the scene until police arrived.

An investigation was launched into the disorder and three people – a 29-year-old man, 15-year-old male and 16-year-old female were all convicted of threatening behaviour.

A further three individuals were dealt with via the Youth Offending Service.

Paul, 37, and Dean, 38, both won a Silver Medal at the Police Public Bravery Awards 2019, in London.

Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness led the tributes: “I am absolutely delighted that Paul and Dean have been rightfully recognised following their extraordinary act of bravery,” said Chief Constable Keenen.

“We would never encourage members of the public to put themselves in harm’s way. However, these awards are a vital way in rewarding those who do put their own safety selflessly to one side.

“The spirit shown by Paul and Dean is truly humbling and I was delighted to attend the awards to thank them personally on behalf of the Force.”

Kim McGuinness added: “It would have been very easy for Paul and Dean to ignore what they saw, to turn the other way and continue with their every-day lives. However, their heroism prevented an already volatile situation from becoming even more serious.