Discomfort with police ‘hero’ tag

CBD-based Sen Sgt Paul Henry is embarrassed by the media-feeding frenzy surrounding his assistance at a roadside birth in Wellington Pde last month.

“Fair dinkum, all I did was hold the torch,” he said.

Sen Sgt Henry was universally portrayed as a courageous hero for his role in an unscheduled birth on the evening of June 2.

He was on his way to Richmond when a cyclist tapped on his car window at the Punt Rd traffic lights with reports of a woman under attack.

As it turned out, the woman’s screams were entirely due to being in the final stages of labour and Snr Sgt Henry was pleased that the woman’s husband and passer-by Andrew Bowen had the situation under control.

“Andrew saw me and thought I would take over,” Snr Sgt Henry said.

“I said ‘I know about as much about this as you do, get back in there’ and went to get a torch.”

Despite his protestations, Snr Sgt Henry still managed to garner national media attention for his “heroics”.

“I didn’t do anything,” he said.  “I mean, how many people can you fit into the foot-well of a Mercedes?”

Even though he endured unwanted praise, the experience was well appreciated.

“As a policeman, you go to so many jobs involving trauma, negativity and anger that it was great to be involved in the birth,” he said. “I went home from the shift just buzzing because of the great outcome.”

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