Leicester milkman Mick Swinn disturbed a brutal sex attacker and then gave chase
A milkman who disturbed a rapist trying to strangle his victim has told how he tried to catch the fleeing attacker.
Mick Swinn, who, with his colleague Pete Walsh was praised by a judge this week for saving the life of the rape victim, yesterday described his actions as "all in a day's work".
Mr Swinn and Mr Walsh came upon the scene, in Richard III Road, near the Kirby and West depot, in Leicester, where they work, on July 7 last year.
Their arrival in the early hours of the morning caused brutal sex attacker Arturas Ardavicius to drive off.
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Mr Swinn, 47, a father-of-two, of Saffron Lane, Leicester, said: "I had just loaded up the van and was driving out of the yard at about 4am when I saw this chap on top of a woman with his hand over her mouth.
"I put the full-beam headlights of my van on and he got up and ran off to his car, but he didn't switch his lights on. I knew the lads at the depot would look after the woman and I went after him. I pulled up level with his car, but I had to reverse out of his way or he would have driven into me.
"I followed him along St Augustin Road but lost him in Tudor Road. I wasn't going to chase him with a full load of milk on, but I was able to identify the type of car which had two flags sticking out the back window – the European championships were on at the time.
"He also had damaged hubcaps where he had been hitting the kerb. The description of his vehicle helped the police, because they picked him up pretty quickly.
"I phoned my manager and carried on with my round, it was all in a day's work. I told my wife, Linda, about it afterwards. I suppose she will give me a pat on the back now the story's out.
"Any half-decent person would help anybody out. He probably thought he had picked a quiet spot, but he obviously didn't know the area and that there was all that activity at that time of the morning, but it was lucky for her and probably saved her life.
"I was just acting out of instinct.
"It was just one of those things you do, you don't think about your safety, you just get on with it."
Mr Welsh, who preferred not to have his picture taken, was arriving at the depot when he came across the scene.
He looked after the terrified victim after Mr Swinn drove after Ardavicius.
He said: "I don't want any special thanks for it because I just did what anybody else would do."
Judge Simon Hammond said the pregnant victim, a prostitute, would have died if the two milkmen had not chanced upon the scene.
At Leicester Crown Court on Thursday, he told 26-year Ardavicius, of Bonchurch Street, off Fosse Road North, Leicester, who was found guilty of attempted murder and two counts of rape he could face life imprisonment.
Mr Swinn and Mr Welsh's manager Jason Joyce said: "They're both good lads. If they hadn't have seen her, she'd have been dead.
"Luckily for her, he brought her to a place where there were a lot of people about.
"Pete was just arriving for work and Mick was just leaving. Pete helped bring her into the depot. She was in a real state, very upset. She was uncontrollable, she couldn't breathe or get her words out.
"She was distraught. It was distressing for everyone there. I think the lads deserve all the credit they get."