Meet the hero who stopped a woman from being kidnapped in only his boxers

April 16, 2018
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A man who prevented a woman from being kidnapped has been praised by the victim as having “saved my life”.

The woman had been walking to work along a quiet street when she was attacked by a man who then tried to kidnap her.

Andrew Paxton bravely intervened after hearing the woman’s cries for help, fighting off the attacker before any more harm could come to her.

The 39-year-old, of Broadlands Avenue in Shepperton, then gave evidence at the culprit’s trial that would lead to the assailant being locked up behind bars.

Andrew was praised by the victim and judge, and received an award from the high sheriff of London for his actions.

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At 5.30am on March 14 last year Andrew was sleeping in his bedroom when he was woken by “a lady’s bellowing scream”.

“I could hear the panic in this lady’s voice a mile away,” says Andrew. He told his partner to ring the police.

Then, with no regard for his own safety, he jumped out of his bedroom window – the front door was on the opposite side of the flat – and ran to help, dressed in nothing but his boxers.

He ran around a parked van to find the woman screaming and was confronted by a horrifying sight.

A lady was on the floor shrieking, her face covered in blood. A was a man on top of her, hitting her repeatedly.

“‘Please, somebody help me!'”

Andrew didn’t hesitate before intervening.

“She was screaming ‘please, someone help me!'” says Andrew. “You couldn’t make out any features on her face apart from her eyes because there was blood all over it.”

A scuffle ensued as Andrew dragged the man off the victim and tried to restrain him. The pair fought with each other as he tried to stop him attacking the woman again.

“I intervened quite forcefully and dragged him off. He lost a couple of teeth in the fracas, at one point I thought he was going to get something [from the van] to have a pop at me with, a weapon or something,” he said.

Instead of finding a weapon the offender was trying get in the van to drive away, but Andrew was able to grab the keys off him, forcing the man to flee on foot.

The attempted kidnapping took place on a quiet residential street
(Image: Google Street View)

It was then that he realised the side-loading door of the van was open and that he hadn’t just interrupted a lady being assaulted. He had interrupted a kidnapping.

“He had the intention of beating her and kidnapping her and he was trying to put her in the back of the van. The intention was to put her in the van and get rid of her,” he said.

Andrew isn’t bragging when he says the story could have ended differently if he hadn’t intervened when he did.

“The timing was crucial because had I left it another five minutes waiting for the screams to calm down I think it could have been a different story,” he said.

“He’s saved my life”

The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, agrees.

She said: “He’s saved my life, literally. He couldn’t care less about what happened to himself as long as he saved me. That is something extremely rare and I think it’s god-given.

“If it hadn’t been for his sheer, relentless courage and bravery I don’t know if I would be here.”

The culprit, Steven Anderson, was found by police later that day and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) and attempted kidnapping.

Andrew would later give evidence against Anderson during his trial, which took place at Kingston Crown Court in October last year.

“It was definitely emotional giving evidence, because it’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like that,” he said.

“I wasn’t nervous, I was so hellbent on being there because I was adamant I wanted to have this piece of scum put away.

“The adrenaline took over while I was testifying – I remember them asking if wanted a glass of water and I dared not touch that glass in case it shook – I didn’t want him [Anderson] to think I was nervous.”

Anderson was found guilty of both charges and sentenced to nine years in prison, serving a minimum of five behind bars.

“Rare for a person to do what Mr Paxton did”

Just over a month later, Andrew received a letter from the high sheriff of London announcing that he had been given a commendation by the judge for his actions and awarded £750.

In a letter, the judge praised Andrew’s actions, saying: “It is rare in these times for a person to do what Mr Paxton did.

“His instinct was to come to the assistance of his fellow citizen irrespective of the danger to himself. This is to be admired and applauded.”

Andrew received his commendation at an awards ceremony in March this year at the Old Bailey, where he was joined by the high sheriff of London, the assistant commissioner of police and a representative of the Queen.

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The victim, who was present at the ceremony, says it helps make up for how much Andrew helped her.

“I give him all these lovely cards and flowers to thank him, but it never feels enough,” she said. “This award has put closure on it, it’s alleviated me from wondering what I could do for Andy.

“My family and I would sincerely like to thank him once again.”

Also present at the ceremony was Andrew’s seven-year-old son Alfie.

“They don’t normally let children come, but on this occasion we were told ‘I think it’s important your son comes with us’,” he said.

“It means so much to me because every father wants to be the hero for their son and this incident has, in a fairy tale kind of way.”

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Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/meet-hero-who-stopped-woman-14458294


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