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"I gave them the mum stare": Brave Naomi receives medal for breaking up bloody gang fight

"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."

A brave mother has been awarded a bravery medal after breaking up a vicious gang fight - by giving them a 'mum stare'.

Naomi Spencer, 45, had been reading a book on her way home from work when six men burst onto the train and began to physically assault a man covered in blood. The injured man in question had been attacked by the six men earlier that day.

Ms Spencer, from Crediton, Devon, 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."

Once the commuter train had left Exeter St David's station in Devon, the bloodied man hung up his phone and faced the gang. Although the train was packed nobody intervened when the altercation began.

But the single mum to a 15-year-old son decided to come to the defense of the victim.

The hairdresser 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."

Ms Spencer told the attackers "to pack it in and break it up" but the six-man gang then started to swear at her.

But Ms Spencer kept her cool. She said: "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."

Treating the men like stroppy teenagers worked - they were well behaved while the train reversed back into Exeter St David's station and police boarded the train.

Ms Spencer added: "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."

Her bravery during the October 2010 altercation has been awarded by the British Transport Police.She was presented with a certificate of commendation by Chief Constable Andrew Trotter during 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"

Ms Spencer 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."