‘DON’T look the other way’. Those are the words of a teenage Stourbridge girl hailed by police for her bravery in tackling a thug who was battering a defenceless young woman on a bus.

Kelsey Dimmock last week picked up a West Midlands Police bravery award, to add to a National Police Chiefs Council honour, for her actions on a horrifying number 9 bus journey in March 2017.

The former Redhill School pupil, then 17, intervened when the hoodlum, for no apparent reason, began ferociously punching another young girl on the bus from Stourbridge to Halesowen.

Kelsey admits that she gave little thought to her own safety because instinct took over – but she still cannot believe none of the other passengers, including grown men, stepped in to help.

A combination of Kelsey and the bus driver scared the attacker off – and he would later be arrested after another attack on a woman on a bus where he punched her so viciously she lost consciousness.

Petite Kelsey, who stands just five feet tall, said: “I was quite scared, I was thinking ‘Is this really happening?’ I just grabbed him and shouted ‘What are you doing?’

“At first, I thought he must know the other girl but he didn’t. He hit me and pulled my hair out but at least he had stopped hitting her.

“She was screaming ‘What have I done?’ and it made me feel so sorry for her. Her face was heavily bleeding.

“I was just annoyed that everybody else was just staring. There were men on the bus but no one else did anything.

“I would say, don’t look the other way, that’s the worst thing you can do.

“I completely get why people wouldn’t get involved. It’s fight or flight isn’t it?

“But if everyone had just stood up, it might have intimidated him and made him stop.

“I’m so grateful he didn’t have a weapon, I didn’t think about it at the time. My mom said to me ‘What the hell were you doing?!’ but she was proud of me.”

Kelsey, now 18 and studying health and childcare at Hartlepool College, was travelling to Halesowen College when the attack happened on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

A few weeks later, the girl who had been attacked got in touch with the college to thank Kelsey, who had clumps of her hair pulled out by the attacker in the fracas.

Kelsey added: “I got a lovely message from her. The thing is, the man could just have easily started attacking me. I would hope she would have done the same for me.”

That would not be the end of her recognition as police officers who dealt with the incident recommended Kelsey for a string of bravery honours.

Sergeant Richard Galbraith, from Dudley Police, said: “I am delighted to hear that not only the West Midlands Police awards panel but also the National Police Chiefs Council agreed with my recommendation that Kelsey should be awarded for her bravery.

“My officers dealt with the initial incident and conducted the primary investigation when Kelsey and another young woman were assaulted.

“Despite feeling intimidated and frightened for her own safety, Kelsey went to the aid of another young woman - who she did not know - when she saw her being violently attacked by an aggressive man.

“During the incident Kelsey sustained numerous injuries. The man was clearly a dangerous individual and I have no doubt that Kelsey's actions prevented the woman from sustaining more serious injuries.

“Kelsey's actions during this incident showed immense bravery and compassion and I strongly believe that she deserved the awards which she received.

“Kelsey is clearly a thoughtful, considerate and compassionate young woman and she should be immensely proud of herself as should her family and friends.”