Off-duty cop walking his dogs stabbed by ruthless killer who murdered mum and young son


PC Steven Denniss was out walking his two dogs, Copper and Zorro, when he spotted murderer Daniel Boulton, he was stabbed when he confronted the killer after he got him in the “goulies”

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Daniel Boulton: Police release moment of arrest

An off-duty cop was stabbed by a killer who had brutally murdered a mum and her young son.

PC Steven Denniss was walking his dogs Copper and Zorro when he was knifed by murderer Daniel Boulton in his leg.

The attack happened after he confronted Boulton at the entrance to Hubbard’s Hills beauty spot in Louth, Lincolnshire, only hours after he had killed his ex-partner Bethany Vincent, 26, and her son Darren Henson, nine.

speaking to GrimsbyLive he gave a graphic account of the terrifying encounter which led to him being stabbed in the thigh before he alerted fellow officers to where Boulton was running away.

PC Denniss said: “In 20 years of doing my job, he is the most dangerous person I have ever had to deal with.

“I saw his face as he was coming towards me with a knife.

“I would class him as evil. I saw the look on his face. He would have killed me without so much as a second thought.

“It is just what we do as police officers and I was just doing my job. These were tragic circumstances. But they were brilliant sentences. It was a heinous crime and he has got as close to a whole life term as is possible.”

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PC Denniss was with Border Collie, Cooper, and Sprocker puppy, Zorro, when he saw Boulton talking to a woman at the Hallington end of Hubbards Hills, near the gated entranceway.

The officer had seen an image of Boulton on Lincolnshire Police Facebook page and was aware there had been two people killed the evening before.

He had been walking for 45 minutes and chose to go for an extended walk through Hubbards Hills, when he spotted Boulton with his hood up.

Undated handout photo issued by Lincolnshire Police of Daniel Boulton, 29, who has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 40 years
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PC Denniss was concerned for the woman to whom Boulton was talking to.

She too was a dog owner and was playing with her pets at the time.

The officer said: “I thought he was about to attack her and approached to get hands on. I identified myself as a police officer and there were punches thrown and kicks and I managed to get him in the goolies. But he ran off further into Hubbard Hills.”

He called a colleague in the firearms team and ran after Boulton while talking on the phone and giving directions to police.

There were already three firearms teams in the Louth as part of the manhunt and fortunately one of them was not far from Hubbards Hills.

Dramatic aerial footage shows the police pursuit of on-the-run double murderer Boulton
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He added: “I shouted at a member of the public who was coming towards us. He pulled a knife on the member of the public who backed off. Then he came back at me and he was after my phone to stop getting me help.

“He lunged at me several times but I dodged each time as he tried to get me in the torso. With one of them I hit down on his hand and that is when he got me with the tip of the knife in my upper thigh. ”

He told how Boulton then fled, running through the river to try to avoid the officer.

The officer went over the bridge and chased him again and was soon joined by fellow firearms officers.

They called on other members of the public to get out of the park for their safety.

Boulton led police on a 24-hour manhunt
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Boulton disappeared into woodland and emerged back on the road to Hallington. He attempted to take a woman’s car but she managed to quickly lock the doors and speed off.

He came within the view of a drone and police helicopter who were able to radio descriptions of his location to officers in pursuit on the ground.

PC Denniss said the police response was “massive.”

Since the knife ordeal he has thought about the possibilities had Boulton managed to continue his escape.

PC Denniss said: “There are a lot of what ifs. You can think of what might have happened if the people who live in the bungalow had come back to find him there. They could have been killed.

Police detaining the double-murderer outside Hallington House Farm on the outskirts of Louth
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“The woman with the dogs could have been his next victim. I am just happy that I did my part, like any other officer would have done.

“I did my part but there is a massive machine in the police force and everyone else has taken it on. It is that which go him 40 years. Everyone did their job, including those looking after the families, the CCTV investigation, people putting the statements together. It has been a big team effort.”

Assistant Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police, Kerrin Wilson said: “My heartfelt condolences go to the family of Bethany and DJ. This was a horrific attack on a mum and her child de ella, and I cannot imagine what they must be going through.

Double murderer Boulton as he arrives at Lincoln Crown Court
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“Although we sadly cannot change what took place in this tragic case, I would like to thank Pc Denniss and the team that helped apprehend Boulton. I would also like to thank the investigation team, and the Crown Prosecution Service which has done a great job in bringing justice to the family.

“Pc Denniss put his life at risk to ensure this dangerous man was arrested. His commitment, professionalism and bravery of him is commended and he is a credit to our policing family. ”

Judge, Mr Justice Pepperall at Lincoln Crown Court sentenced Boulton to two life sentences and ordered a minimum sentence of 40 years, telling the 30-year-old murderer from Skegness that he might never be released from prison.

He added: “I commend PC Steven Denniss for his bravery in seeking to arrest you (Boulton), while off duty and without any back up or regard for his own safety, in order to protect members of the public.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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