A COURAGEOUS Kendal grandfather who helped save a woman’s life during a brutal knife attack has been formally commended by a judge for his bravery.
Desperate mum Stephanie Shepherd sought refuge at neighbour Kevin Miller’s house on the Hallgarth estate after being stabbed multiple times by her estranged husband in front of their two-year-old daughter.
Mr Miller, 70, attempted to reason with the attacker and ‘dragged’ Mrs Shepherd into the safety of his home on High Sparrowmire as his wife Ann phoned 999 and tried to staunch the bleeding with a towel.
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“You don’t think – you’re on automatic,” said the retired BT engineer, who was drinking a cup of coffee in the living room with his wife when he heard a ‘thump’ on his back door.
Opening it, he saw attacker David Shepherd on his knees over Mrs Shepherd, driving a knife into her.
“It was an unbelievable sight but when I opened the door that was the scene. I suppose I could have closed the door and rung the police or I could try do something to stop him. Had he carried on she could not have survived.”
Mr Shepherd fled by car with his little girl and was later arrested by armed police. Meanwhile, Mrs Shepherd was airlifted to hospital in Preston for emergency surgery.
The house where the Millers have lived for 50 years was declared a crime scene, and Mr Miller recalls ‘shivering’ as he gave his statement to police.
“The policewoman asked me if I was cold. I said no, I’m not cold, it’s just the shock that’s got to me.”
Mr Miller, who has nine children and 30 grand-children, said he was grate-ful for his family’s support during that ‘very long day’.
In June, attacker Mr Shep-herd was jailed for 14 years by Judge Paul Batty QC, for attempted murder – and the judge awarded Mr Miller £750 for bravery.
After the court case, Mrs Shepherd visited Mr Miller to thank him for helping to save her life. “I was made up just to see her,” he said.
And he told the Gazette he was pleased and ‘surprised’ to be invited to a ceremony at Carlisle Crown Court recently with Cumbria High Sheriff Martyn Hart.
Judge Batty read out the commendation, which states that Mr Miller ‘bravely intervened in a murderous knife attack... His courage-ous intervention probably saved the woman’s life. His actions are deserving of the highest praise’.