A brave mum has been given a bravery award after breaking-up a bloody gang fight on a a train – by ordering the thugs to “pack it in” and giving them a ‘mum stare’.
Naomi Spencer, 45, was reading her book on her way home from work when six burly yobs burst into the carriage in pursuit of a man who was covered in blood.
They began physically and verbally abusing him in the aisle and the other passengers cowered in fear – until Naomi stepped in.
She physically separated the victim from his attackers and ordered them to sit at opposite ends of the carriage.
They then began threatening her – but brave Naomi kept them apart with the ‘mum stare’ she normally uses to encourage her 15-year-old son to go to bed.
The gang backed off and the train was reversed into a station so the suspects could be dealt with – as Naomi was given a round of applause by fellow passengers.
Naomi, a hairdresser of Crediton, Devon, has now been awarded a certificate of commendation by British Transport Police.
She said: ”They were like children in a playground, it was embarrassing. I just wanted them to stop, it wasn’t the right time or place for them to do that.
”I sat back for a few minutes to see how it panned out but it escalated so I thought that’s it, I’ve had enough, this was not going to stop me from getting home.
”I stood up and told them to pack it in and break it up, I didn’t swear, but they shouted at me about why they were arguing but I said I didn’t care.
”I told them it was six on one and it was out of order, I told the group to sit at one end and him to sit at another and be quiet.
”They were quite shocked – I was just giving them clear instructions and they stood back and just did it.
”I pulled one of them off him and gave them a mum stare which I think made them realise I wasn’t messing around, they weren’t thinking about anyone else apart from themselves.
”I just went into mum mode, it was like me telling off my son, they just needed clear instructions in what they needed to do.
”It was as if they were having a temper tantrum for ten minutes before the police were called.
”When I got off the train everybody clapped and cheered, I was so embarrassed, I suddenly realised what I had done.
”I don’t like to witness something that I could do something about to make a difference.
”I haven’t really done anything like this before to this scale, but I am quite loud and I would never ignore something like this.”
The incident happened when the train left Exeter St David’s station in Devon as Naomi returned home from work in October 2010.
She said: ”I was casually reading my book on the train when I heard a man cussing and swearing very loudly on his phone.
”I looked over to him and his top had been ripped and he had blood all down him and on his face and neck.
”Then I heard lots of shouting between him and a group of lads coming in the other direction, swearing, threatening each other, quite violent things really.
”I just thought that he could be trouble so I kept an eye on him so he didn’t do anything stupid.
”The train was packed because it was rush hour and I could tell the people around him were nervous.
”After a while he came off the phone and sat back which I thought was fair enough, but then when we pulled out of the station I saw him get up.
”I thought I had to do something, if a man would have stepped up the testosterone would have gone through the roof and something really bad could have happened.”
The man had previously been attacked by the six men earlier in the day and was already bloodied by the time he was set upon on the 5pm train.
Naomi added: ”My friends and family were a bit shocked at what I did and said what if they had a knife, but they didn’t, and that was that.
”I was pretty shocked that I got the certificate but I was proud as well, it is a great think to have and I didn’t do any of this to be recognised for it.”
Officials say the train driver was given permission to reverse the train back into Exeter St David’s station so that it could be met by the British Transport Police who dealt with it.
Mrs Spencer has now been presented with a certificate of commendation by Chief Constable Andrew Trotter a special ceremony held by the transport police in London.
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.”