A TEAM of unarmed officers who faced a Holyhead man with a loaded gun, putting his vulnerable mother’s life at risk, have been nominated for a prize at the national Police Bravery Awards 2024.

At about midnight on April 7, 2023, North Wales Police received a 999 call from a distressed female reporting an ongoing verbal argument with her adult son, Bobby Lee Hughes, at their home address.

During the 999 call, the woman described how her son had experienced a “massive blow-out”.

Not long after, Hughes’ sister also contacted Cheshire Police to report the same concerns for her brother, who was also causing damage within the house.

She was on the phone with her mother at the time the events were unfolding, and reported being very concerned for her mother whom she described as “disabled and vulnerable”.

Sergeant Dylan Thomas, PC Rachael Roberts, PC Rob Burgess, PC Dion Hughes, and PC Rob Williamson were sent to the house, after being informed by the force control centre there had been a mention of a gun during the 999 call.

Hughes’ mother told officers her son was inside and was highly aggressive. Almost immediately, he was shouting at them to back off as he had a gun.

Sergeant Thomas soon found himself looking down the barrel of a gun, aimed directly towards him by Hughes who was stood at the top of the stairs.

The officers, who were in his line of sight, deemed the threat of violence to be extremely high and so Sergeant Thomas, PC Roberts and PC Hughes all deployed their tasers simultaneously.

The taser discharge was part-effective, causing Hughes to fall onto his front, resulting in the rifle falling down the stairs.

Hughes managed to crawl and return to his bedroom which was located directly on the right upon ascending the stairs.

Unaware at the time he was no longer in possession of the firearm, PC Hughes repeatedly commanded Hughes to drop the gun and come out from where he was hiding.

Suddenly, he appeared directly in front of the officers.

PC Williamson entered the bedroom with his colleagues where he was detained, arrested, and subsequently charged with possession of an air rifle with intent to cause fear of violence.

Firearms officers examined the rifle and noted it had been cocked ready for use and there was a pellet within the chamber which was ready to be fired.

On August 3, 2023, Hughes was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Sergeant Thomas said he has “a family to go home to and a community to carry on policing”, and questioned what the outcome could have been for him, his colleagues and their families had they not taken that split-second action.

Chief superintendent Sian Beck, head of local policing services at North Wales Police, said: “The officers responded to the incident without delay, putting the victim’s safety ahead of their own.

“At the address, they were faced with the threat from the weapon and acted decisively, professionally and with excellent communication, safely detaining the male and ensuring the safety of his mother.

“When faced with the immediate threat, they acted with outstanding bravery.”

Deputy chief constable of North Wales Police, Nigel Harrison, added: “This is incredibly impactive as officers only in possession of a taser moved forward to protect the occupant from an individual making threats with a firearm.

“I commend all the officers for their bravery and selflessness.”