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Footage shows Kent Police officer rescue arsonist from burning building in Sellindge

Dramatic footage has been released showing a police officer risking his life to save an arsonist from a burning building.

The body-cam recording shows Sergeant James Cattermole battling to rescue Christopher Pain from flames from a fire he started in Sellindge, between Folkestone and Ashford.

Sgt Cattermole and colleague PC Louis Southon were called to Brook Lane Cottages following reports Pain was carrying a knife and threatening to injure himself.

The property was locked and officers attempted to speak to Pain through a window to check on his welfare.

Pain refused to engage and shouted abuse before starting a fire in the property's living room.

Sgt Cattermole then smashed a window, climbed through and dragged Pain to the building's back door, which was locked.

As Pain continued to resist help, Sgt Cattermole tried to get them both out of the front door, which had been barricaded with cardboard boxes.

Sgt James Cattermole was praised for his bravery. Photo: Kent Police
Sgt James Cattermole was praised for his bravery. Photo: Kent Police

With the building filling with smoke, PC Southon then smashed the window of the back door and the two officers managed to get Pain out of the building.

Further officers and a team from Kent Fire and Rescue Service then arrived and evacuated neighbouring properties. Extensive damage was caused to the property but no one was seriously injured.

Pain, 57, was arrested and taken to hospital as a precaution before being charged. He pleaded guilty to arson and was jailed for four years and ordered to serve an extra two years on licence at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Simon James commended Sgt Cattermole's quick thinking and bravery in getting Pain out of the building.

Chief Inspector Alice Ames, Folkestone and Hythe District Commander, said: "Every day, police officers are the first at the scene of unpredictable and dangerous incidents. Their first thought is always to maintain the safety of the public and preserve life.

Christopher Pain pleaded guilty to arson. Photo: Kent Police
Christopher Pain pleaded guilty to arson. Photo: Kent Police

"The response of the two officers who attended this call, which I believe saved the offender's life, is yet another example of the bravery and professionalism so often shown by our team.

"I hope the jail sentence handed down at court gives Christopher Pain a chance to reflect on his actions and, upon his release, he will no longer endanger himself, others or members of the emergency services."

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