Barrister feted as a ‘hero’ after jumping into canal fully-suited to retrieve child’s toy turtle

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By Alex Aldridge on

When attempt to fish toy from water with umbrella failed, in-house barrister Steven Molloy threw himself into canal and seized furry turtle — generating applause from passers-by.


There were incredible scenes in Newbury this week, where a barrister dramatically leapt to the assistance of a little girl who had dropped her toy turtle into a canal.

Charles Hoile Solicitors’ in-house barrister Steven Molloy (pictured) had just returned from court to his firm’s canal-side offices when a colleague alerted him to the emerging drama on the towpath outside.

Grabbing an umbrella, quick-thinking Molloy — formerly of Oxford’s 13 King’s Bench Walk Chambers — dashed to the scene and took control. But when his bid to retrieve the toy turtle from the bank was scuppered by a fast current, the barrister was forced into a split second re-appraisal of the situation and, fully-suited, plunged into the murky depths of the Kennet and Avon canal.

Seizing the turtle, Molloy then fought his way back through the torrent and onto shore, where he was greeted with a big round of applause from the grateful public.

Feted as a “hero” by local paper Newbury Today, Molloy said:

“I thought that losing a favourite teddy at that age and in that way could be quite traumatic for a child. I knew I could save it if I was quick.

“The girl’s face just lit up, she was so happy. Her mum thanked me over and over again. The girl was all smiles.

“I had hoped to be able to fish it out of the water with the end of the umbrella, but it was too far away and was being carried off by the current, so I just thought ‘it’s now or never’ and jumped in.”