The courage of police officers who responded to a horrifying attack on a woman in Cumbria has been publicly recognised.

Along with two members of the public, the officers have been given formal Chief Constable's commendations for their role in tackling the attack in Kirkby Lonsdale in October, 2017.

The two civilians involved were flagged down by man who had just assaulted his wife, leaving her with life-threatening injuries. They kept the attacker at the scene while giving initial first aid to the victim, who had horrific injuries.

The men also went into the suspect’s flat without thought to their own personal safety, a police awards ceremony in Penrith heard.

Police constables Jamie Callon, Jason Hesmondhalgh and Marc Holmes were the first officers on the scene and all helped give the victim first aid.

She was later air-lifted to Preston Royal Infirmary.

It was confirmed that she had suffered horrendous injuries, including 30 wounds to her head alone.

The attacker – a man in his 80s - was later charged with attempted murder.

Also commended were Rebecca Joseph and Caroline Middleton, Detective Sergeant Darren Henderson and Detective Inspector Helen Curme.

Detective Constable Middleton took on the role of Family Liaison Officer, which involved regular contact with the victim’s relatives in Canada and Australia.

Detective Constable Joseph was the lead detective - a role that involved interviewing the suspect and completing subsequent enquiries.

Detective Sergeant Henderson was office manager for the investigation and supervised other officers alongside Detective Inspector Curme.

The defendant was sentenced to an indefinite custodial sentence in a secure hospital.

Detective Superintendent Vicki Ellis said: “The victim in this case was subject to a brutal and sustained attack which could easily have resulted in her death.

“The quick response and selfless act of bravery shown by the members of the public ensured the attacker could not inflict any further injuries, could not leave the scene and ensured the victim received immediate treatment for life-threatening injuries.

“The officers on the scene acted swiftly to ensure the attacker was arrested, the scene secured and the victim was given the best possible chance for survival, whilst the detectives involved in the investigation showed exceptional levels of professionalism and diligence which resulted the attacker will no longer pose any threat to the public.”

A number of medical personnel, including with the Great Northern Air Ambulance, were also commended for their work in giving immediate, life-saving medical attention.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “I always feel incredibly humble to hear such stories of the selfless, brave actions of not just our officers, but others in the emergency services, and members of the public.

"Those that are honoured tonight rightly deserve the recognition that their awards bring, and I would like to add my personal thanks to them all, for saving lives, helping people in their hour of need, and for going the extra mile to keep Cumbria safe.”

Chief Constable Michelle Skeer added: “The actions of those commended this evening can only be described as inspirational.

“It is often said that the role of the emergency services is to run towards danger as everyone else is running away.

"Whilst tonight has shown clear evidence of our officer’s willingness to put themselves in harm’s way, it is also heart-warming to see so many examples of members of the public dropping whatever they are doing and coming to help in times of need.

“These ceremonies are a way for myself and the Constabulary to recognise and thank those who have behaved so exceptionally but they are also an opportunity to showcase the Cumbrian spirit.

"I’m sure everyone who attended the ceremony and who learns of the great work carried out will agree that this spirit remains alive and well.”