AN AUTHOR and photographer from Haworth who stopped a young woman being raped in a hotel has been officially recognised for his bravery.

Peter Paul Hartnett was visiting London on a trip to mentor students when he heard the late-night attack taking place in the hotel accommodation above his own.

He managed to intervene and halt the assault, and is being awarded £500 by the High Sheriff of Greater London for his brave actions.

The man responsible for trying to rape the woman, Akbar Abbasi, has pleaded guilty to the crime and received a 50-month prison sentence.

After hearing screaming coming from the hotel room on September 13, Mr Hartnett said he went up to investigate and knocked on the door.

Initially, he got no response, but when there was another muffled scream, he opened the door and immediately heard a woman struggling to breathe.

He said he saw Abbasi pinning the victim against a wall and holding her in an arm lock.

Mr Hartnett said the attacker was naked and drunk. He added the woman was relieved to see him and immediately told him Abbasi had tried to rape her.

Mr Hartnett said: "I told another guest, who was in the corridor, to run to reception and get security, the police and paramedics.

"There was blood on the walls and I later found out the woman had broken ribs.

"When the security turned up they dealt with the man, though afterwards he was abusive and aggressive towards me in the reception area. He tried to run away but he was caught.

"I stayed with the victim but the police took a while to arrive. At one point I had to go outside in my dressing gown and slippers so the police could find the right location.

"I first got involved at 10.45pm and I finished giving evidence at 3.30am. It was traumatic and I was in shock the following afternoon."

Mr Hartnett had been in London to mentor a group of students of photography, fashion design and fashion journalism during September's London Fashion Week.

"When I became aware of the attack I acted quickly, rather than expecting somebody else to intervene," he added.

"Perhaps because I've been subjected to all manner of anti-social behaviours in my life, abuse has been an aspect of my personal history.

"It's important to me to support vulnerable people and to actively help them, even if that means a risk of personal injury.

"I believe we all have a duty to assist when there's need.

"I'm glad I saved the young individual from rape. What she suffered at the hands of that attacker was considerable enough."

After sentencing Abbasi, his Honour Judge Blacksell QC said: "Mr Hartnett's intervention protected this woman from the attack she was suffering.

"Many might have delayed or resisted taking the action he took, which without doubt saved this situation from being much more serious than it actually was."