Police officers praised for saving man who sliced own nose off

Six UK police officers have been praised for saving the life of a man who sliced his nose off while high on drugs.

West Midlands Police described being faced with a "bloodbath" when they arrived at the scene in Newtown, Birmingham, in October last year.

The man, who had taken a synthetic form of cannabis known as Black Mamba, was experiencing an extreme psychotic episode with blood pouring from his face.

Pc Thomas Walker and a colleague, who does not wish to be named, were first on the scene and battled for almost 30 minutes to help the man and stem the blood loss.

Sergeant Jonothan Rattenbury and Pcs Lewis Williams, Chloe Morgan and Harry Matharu also arrived to help restrain the man and carry him down three flights of stairs to the waiting ambulance.

Birmingham Police Inspector Mat Minton said: "I believe the actions of these officers saved the man's life.

"They were met with the sight of someone who'd mutilated himself and was outwardly displaying hostility and aggression towards them. They had to deal with that while trying to provide emergency first aid.

"It's hard to imagine how challenging that scene must have been for the officers who first attended - they did a brilliant job.

"Sgt Rattenberry later described it as a bloodbath and the most gruesome scene he's encountered in 26 years of police service."

Black Mamba mimics the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis.

However, synthetic forms of the drug are more potent than natural cannabis, increasing the risk of harmful side effects - which can include psychotic episodes, convulsions and organ failure.

Black Mamba was reclassified as a Class B controlled drug in 2013 after gaining popularity as a so-called "legal high".

These narcotics were outlawed completely when the Psychoactive Substances Act came into effect a year ago.

Police Superintendent Andy Parsons said: "Some people are still viewing Black Mamba as a low-risk drug substitute and are taking it without any consideration for their safety. But our view is that there is no safe way to use Spice or Mamba.

"The reality is that these psychoactive substances can have catastrophic effects.

"Unscrupulous distributors are making it using dangerous, potent chemicals which can be lethal, while the psychological impact can be devastating and lead people to self-harm or harm others.

"We cannot stress enough that Black Mamba is a very dangerous drug. It is also now illegal to possess synthetic cannabis like Black Mamba and Spice so users could end up with criminal records."

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