Bravery award for selfless St Ives man who saved friend from knife attacker
- Credit: Archant
A St Ives man who stepped in to disarm an attacker as he tried to stab his friend is to be honoured for his bravery.
Andrew Phelps, 37, has been put forward for a Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal in recognition of his selfless actions in saving the life of his close friend during a knife attack earlier this year.
Mr Phelps, of Houghton Road, St Ives, rushed to the house of his neighbour, Charna Knights, on January 8, after hearing screams for help.
Ms Knights, 28, was desperately attempting to fend off her former partner, Matthew Sharpe, as he stabbed at her with a knife.
Sharpe had already attacked and killed Ms Knight’s partner, Andrew Hasler, who was lying dead in the room.
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Despite the danger, Mr Phelps tackled Sharpe and twice disarmed him before restraining him and ensuring Ms Knights was able to get to safety.
Though he escaped the house, Sharpe was tracked by police and arrested after jumping off a bridge into the River Great Ouse.
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In April, Sharpe, aged 40, received a 25-year sentence for killing Mr Hasler, aged 28, and 20 years for the attempted murder of his former partner, Charna Knights.
In court, Mr Phelps’ actions were described as “outstanding and courageous” and despite his inner turmoil and personal struggle to come to terms with the events of that day, he undoubtedly, according to the judge in the case, saved Miss Knights’s life.
He was awarded £1,000 by the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire as a result of his actions. His nomination for the Royal Humane Society award was made by Cambridgeshire police.
Speaking to The Hunts Post in May, Mr Phelps said: “I only did what most people would have done. We are all human beings and I would like to think most people would have just reacted in the way I did and helped someone in trouble. Andrew was a great friend to us and more like an uncle to our children who adored him,
“He was soft and gentle and would do anything to help anyone and we just want people to know that, to know what a decent and kind person he was, otherwise some people will only remember him as someone who was murdered. He was really the hero.”
The society can trace its roots back more than 200 years. It was founded in 1774 by William Hawes and Thomas Cogan, two leaders in the medical field in their day. Their aim was to promote techniques of resuscitation.
However, as it emerged that numerous people were prepared to put their own lives at risk to save others, the awards scheme evolved, and today a variety of awards are made depending on the bravery involved.