Islington’s courageous bus passenger officially given hero status

A brave passenger who was stabbed twice and hospitalised protecting OAPs from thugs on a bus has been granted hero status by a charity.

Tim Smits, 33, from Islington, who has spent months recovering mentally and physically from his ordeal, was honoured by the Andrew Carnegie Hero Trust Fund at a ceremony at the Town Hall on Monday.

The fund, set up by the Scottish philanthropist and one time richest man in the world, recognises heroism and gives financial assistance to the recipient where necessary.

It marks another chapter in a turbulent 12 months for the Australian, which has seen him struggle with the aftermath of the violence in September last year, but also see his attacker jailed and be given Olympic tickets for his bravery.

He said: “Today has been great. A bit overwhelming, but really nice and a little bit of closure.”

Mr Smits family flew over from Melbourne for the event - the first time they have seen him since his ordeal.

He added: “They have helped me forget my worries and I have laughed more in the last week than I have in the rest of the year.”

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Peter Smits, Tim’s dad, said: “We were horrified when we heard what happened, but it didn’t surprise us to hear what he did - he always stood up for what he believe in.

“We are unbelievably proud of him - he has had a really rough period which should never have happened.”

Tim’s mum Robyn added: “He was a delightful boy- the kind who would rescue spiders and take them outside rather than kill them.”

Mr Smits’ name will now be inscribed in the roll of honour, on display in the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline, Scotland.

Robin Watson, from the Andrew Carnegie Hero Trust Fund, said: “The trustees unanimously recognised Tim’s heroism at a time in our society when people don’t tend to intervene.

“Tim saw what was happening and saw it wasn’t right morally and stepped in, not in an aggressive way and took the consequences. That was a heroic act.

“It would be lovely if we didn’t have to celebrate this kind of behaviour, because everyone did it. Tim could have got away with it, but he didn’t. It’s a big deal.”