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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 20:26 GMT 21:26 UK
Gun scare drug addict jailed
PC Ian Fielding
PC Ian Fielding was "extraordinarily brave"
A drug addict who threatened a police officer with a replica gun in a city street crowded with Christmas shoppers has been jailed for 10 years.

Alex Warden, 28, led police on a high-speed car chase before he was finally arrested with the help of bystanders who wrestled him to the ground.

On a busy Saturday in the run-up to Christmas last December, Worcester city centre was full of shoppers when Warden levelled a gun at PC Ian Fielding.

"I looked at it and thought 'Is it real or isn't it real?'," said Mr Fielding on Monday.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips rushed to help disarm Alex Warden
"I couldn't make up my mind. Then I thought 'If he's going to shoot me he would have shot me by now' and I just went for him."

Members of the public who were unaware the gun was an imitation, rushed to help the officer, including passer-by Mark Phillips.

"At the point where they were fighting I thought 'I need to go and help this guy'," said Mr Phillips.

"I dropped all the shopping outside the chip shop and ran up to the guy and kicked the gun out of his hand and helped to restrain him with the police officer."

Earlier stabbing

The incident had begun minutes earlier outside Worcester when police began following Warden's Nissan car.

He was wanted for stabbing and almost killing another man three days earlier.

Warden, of no fixed address has a long criminal record. He pleaded guilty to wounding, dangerous driving and using an imitation firearm.

At Birmingham Crown Court the judge Mr Justice Matthews praised the extraordinary bravery of PC Fielding in tackling and disarming Warden.


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