Two police officers have been commended for managing to detain a ‘disturbed’ armed murderer as he approached them with a knife.

PC Clive Deller and PC James Bushell were called to an address in Hornchurch in September last year after London Ambulance Service found 77-year-old Rosemary Shearman, who had been stabbed in her home.

Mrs Sherman’s killer, Thomas Blazquez, 51, of South Woodford locked inside an upstairs room.

The officers called for back-up then drew their friction lock batons and entered the house, loudly identifying themselves as police officers and calling for the suspect to surrender.

They searched the house until they came across a locked door.

Further shouted commands drew no response, so the officers kicked the door down, fearing for the safety of other potential occupiers.

They were confronted with the sight of Blazquez covered in blood, and brandishing a knife, in a ‘distressed’ and ‘deranged’ state.

Blazquez then went at the pair clutching the murder weapon.

Using his baton, PC Deller’s arm and wrist strikes eventually caused him to drop the knife, enabling PC Bushell to step in and restrain him.

On searching him, it became apparent that he was covered in numerous self-inflicted knife injuries, including a stab wound to the abdomen, and required urgent medical attention.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court on May 1 Blazquez was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 18 years.

Assistant Commissioner Helen King, said: "It gives me great pleasure to officially recognise the outstanding work and bravery of the men and women who have gone over and above the call of duty, at what is my first commendation ceremony as Assistant Commissioner Territorial Policing.”