Single mum receives bravery award after breaking up Tarka Line brawl

Naomi Spencer is presented with her award by BTP Chief Constable Andrew Trotter.

Naomi Spencer is presented with her award by BTP Chief Constable Andrew Trotter. - Credit: Archant

Crediton woman who single-handedly stopped commuter train punch up honoured by from Transport Police.

A woman who dived in to stop a fight between two groups of men on a Tarka Line train to Barnstaple has been presented with a bravery award by British Transport Police.

Single mum Naomi Spencer, 45, from Crediton, stepped in as tensions flared during a busy commuter service on October 29, 2010.

The two groups has clashed earlier in the evening in Exeter and were dispersed by police, but on the way home six from one faction began ‘having a go’ at a lone man from the other.

“It was out of order so I told them to pack it in and I gave them clear instructions that I wanted them to stay apart,” said Naomi.

“I just wanted everyone on the train to be safe. I think if I would have ignored things, the situation would have got far worse.

“I’m a short, dumpy woman – but I just gave them a ‘mum’ look and told them to stop messing around.”

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The hairdresser who works in Exeter was presented with the award by BTP Chief Constable Andrew Trotter during a ceremony held at the British Medical Association building in Tavistock Square, London today (Friday).

She said she decided to step in when the situation threatened to turn into ‘six against one’ after the individual provoked the half dozen from the opposing faction in her carriage:

“The six started having a go back at this lad, who was already covered in blood from the earlier fight,” she added.

“Okay, he’d had a go at them but I didn’t really care about what had gone on beforehand. I just thought six against one? That’s not on.”

The train driver was given permission to reverse to Exeter St David’s station so that it could be met by BTP officers who dealt with the youths involved.

BTP Chief Constable Andrew Trotter said: “I was very pleased to be able to present Naomi with such a prestigious award for her incredibly brave actions, which were absolutely outstanding and undoubtedly prevented the situation between these two groups becoming far worse.”

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