2021 Winner

Gerard Morrison

Pensioner who sprung into action during a violent knife attack, saving a woman’s life and fighting off her attacker.

Gerard, 72, was waiting in a housing association office in Greenock when one of the men waiting alongside him suddenly got up and approached the counter where staff member Lynn Robertson was helping customers. 

He then walked behind the counter and without warning, stabbed the 45-year-old mother in the stomach and arm with a serrated steak knife. 

Gerard immediately jumped up and went to Lynn’s aid, grabbing a chair to strike the attacker.

His actions allowed Lynn to flee behind a door into another office. Once she was safe, Gerard threw the chair at the attacker and ran to seek help. The man was later arrested, and was jailed for life last year for attempted murder.

Lynn sustained a deep wound to her arm and another to her body which penetrated her liver. She underwent surgery and made a slow physical recovery, but was left permanently scarred as well as traumatised by the attack in September 2019.

Gerard, who has suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder, said: “I don’t see myself as a hero but I am glad I was there. I didn’t think, I just acted because I saw she needed my help.  Lynn was totally defenceless, and was absolutely trapped when he went to attack her. 

“He was hell-bent on causing harm and this poor lady was in dire straits. I don’t know why to this day why I picked up a chair but it was instinctive. It was honestly frightening.”

He added: “It’s lovely to be recognised but the best thing to come out of the whole affair is a lovely friendship with Lynn and she knows she can phone me at any time.  Her daughter Abby calls me Uncle Gerry.”

Lynn added: “Gerard is my hero and he saved my life. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be there. It is hard to put into words, but what he did for me on that day means I am still here for my daughter and for my husband. It’s been tough as we have both gone through so many emotions but I’ll be eternally grateful to Gerard.”