An heroic ex-soldier who stopped a neo-nazi fanatic killing an Asian dentist was “overwhelmed” to receive a new honour from a police boss.
Peter Fuller, 44, risked his own life to save Dr Sarandev Bhambra during the horrific machete and hammer attack in the Tesco supermarket in Mold in January last year.
Zack Davies, who was said to have been inspired by the actions of Islamic State killer Jihadi John, was jailed for life and told he would serve at least 14 years in prison for attempted murder when he was sentenced last September.
At the conclusion of the case at Mold Crown Court, Judge Rhys Rowland praised both Mr Fuller and Dr Bhambra’s actions but the father-of-three from Mold was not in court to hear his comments.
So North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick CB QC ordered a transcript of Judge Rowland’s summing up.
Mr Roddick incorporated his words of praise on a certificate which he presented to Peter Fuller at North Wales Police HQ in Colwyn Bay in recognition of his remarkable courage.
Mr Fuller, who is about to start a new IT job with Flintshire County Council, had popped into the supermarket to buy a carton of milk when Zack Davies launched a vicious attack on Dr Bhambra simply because of the colour of his skin.
With no thought for his own safety, Peter Fuller, a former soldier, stepped in front of Davies refusing to allow him to continue his attack on Dr Bhambra, who suffered horrendous hand and head injuries, and eventually persuaded him to put down his weapons.
Mr Fuller has already been honoured at the Pride of Britain Awards, received a Chief Constable’s commendation and has been nominated for a St David’s Award.
But he was still keen to see what Judge Rowlands had said about him and Dr Bhambra.
The citation reads: “If it had not been for Peter Fuller there is every chance Dr Bhambra would not be with us today. He would have been killed by this man. Mr Fuller’s courage is truly exceptional.
“This was a truly sad and sorry case and the way Dr Bhambra coped and Mr. Fuller behaved are just two rays of hope and light in an otherwise dreadful case.”
Mr Fuller was overwhelmed to receive the certificate from Mr Roddick and it was something he will always treasure.
He said: “I never knew exactly what the judge said as I stayed away from the trial of Zac Davies other than to give my evidence. I was aware of some of the judge’s comments but not everything.
“There was a lot of press interest in the trial and I felt strongly that the focus should be on Sarandev and what he had suffered during and after that appalling attack. I didn’t want to be a distraction.
“I was aware Judge Rowland had made some complimentary remarks about both Sarandev and myself but it was only after receiving this amazing certificate from Mr Roddick that I learnt, in full, exactly what he said.
“I’m absolutely delighted to accept this award from Mr Roddick. I expected a print out of the judge’s comments not a framed certificate. It is something I will always treasure.”
Mr Fuller accepts he has found the media attention he has received since Davies’ trial difficult to cope with and says it’s all been way out of his comfort zone.
He said: “The thing is only Sarandev and I know the full details of what happened. I don’t mean the basics, I mean every second of what happened. It’s imprinted on my mind and I know Sarandev’s mind too.
“The emotion of it is difficult to bear in a way so for the judge to have summed up as he did and the fact he included our names is wonderful.”
He added: “There an important message that comes out of the whole episode though, here was a young professional man, a human being that was attacked just because of the colour of his skin.
“I remember sitting having a drink sometime after and remembering the sight of Sarandev’s blood all over the supermarket floor. Blood that was exactly the same in every way as my blood or anyone else’s for that matter.
“It made me realise colour and race really is only skin deep, its character that goes to the core.”
“I see Sarandev and his family and I think we will always remain close. He really is my brother now. He’s doing OK and back working as a dentist although things have been understandably difficult.”
Mr Roddick says he was humbled to meet Peter Fuller.
He said: “My old English master explained to me the difference between bravery and courage.
“Bravery is when someone takes action without knowing what the consequences to themselves will be. However, courage is knowing exactly what the consequences might be but taking action anyway.
“Peter Fuller is blessed with great humility and deserves every accolade he has received. I was delighted to be able to get a transcript of Judge Rowland’s summing up and the comments he made with regards to Peter Fuller’s courage.
“I felt the least I could do was prepare a certificate incorporating those words and present it to Peter Fuller with my very best compliments and admiration.”
He added: “They say if you save someone’s life you always have responsibility for that person. I’m thrilled to hear that Dr Bhambra and Peter Fuller remain close and I wish them both the very best for the future.”