Teens stepped in to stop ‘dangerous’ criminal sexually assaulting woman

Three teenagers who stopped a ‘dangerous’ criminal from sexually assaulting a woman on a Spalding street have been given a national bravery award.

Charlie Burley, Callum Smith and Ben Tyler were aged just 15 and 16 when they ran over to Kamil Gziut who was in the process of assaulting what the trio described as a woman in her early 20s on Albion Street in November, 2021 at 5.30pm.
The Spalding Academy students responded to the women’s call for help after she’d been overpowered and dragged on to a grassy area.
“We thought it was a couple play-fighting at first,” Callum, now 18 and an engineering apprentice at Bakkavor, said. “Then we realised it was more serious as she was screaming and being dragged along.
“There were other people around doing nothing about it.
“We thought there was three of us and only one of him so we’d be ok.”
As they walked towards the woman, the offender pushed her away and ran off, forcing the three teens to run after him and catch him.
They managed to pull a bag from him which they believed he had stolen and returned it to the woman. They then waited with her until support arrived.
After a police appeal for them to come forward, the trio went on to assist the police investigation and Gziut was charged with attempted rape, robbery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He later pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm with intent to commit a sexual offence and was jailed for four years and one month.
He was also handed a three-year extended licence period following his release from custody after a Judge at Lincoln Crown Court concluded he was dangerous.
The three friends have not spoken to the victim, who is granted legal anonymity, since the incident.
“We just hope she’s ok,” Callum continued. “We’d like to get in touch if possible, but the main thing is that she’s fine.
“I think if you’re in that situation definitely try and help.
“Even if you assess the situation and don’t think it’s safe, at least ring 999 and report the incident.
“I do think we’ve taken a lot away from it.
“It’s boosted our confidence and taught us to look out more for our surroundings as although it was dark, it was still early and a time of day when you just wouldn’t expect something like that to be happening.”
Callum said he and his friends, who are also doing apprenticeships, were proud to pick up their bravery awards.
“I didn’t quite realise how big the awards were,” he said. “It was quite an eye-opener and walking up in front of everyone felt really good,”
Callum’s mum Sarah Davis said: “We’re incredibly proud.
“Lincolnshire Police have nominated people for the Police Federation Bravery Award but they’ve never won before, so it’s great for the boys and Spalding.
“There is good here and at the Spalding Academy.”
Lincolnshire Police chief constable Chris Haward said: “They are true role models and deserve every accolade possible.
“It is incredible to think that, as 15 and 16 year olds, they chose to step in where others didn’t and their actions undoubtedly saved the victim from a more serious sexual assault.
“Throughout the evening I heard of similar tales of bravery and courage, but it is fair to say the boys really captured the hearts of everyone there.”

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