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Hero pensioner who tried to save MP Jo Cox's life arrives home after four nights in hospital

Mirror logo Mirror 20/06/2016 By Jeremy Armstrong

© Provided by Mirror The hero pensioner who tried to save MP Jo Cox during the brutal attack which killed her has arrived home after spending four nights in hospital.

Dressed in a salmon pink t-shirt, Bernard Kenny, 77, arrived back at his bungalow in Birstall, West Yorkshire under a police escort at around 4pm today.

Walking unaided, Mr Kenny emerged from a blue unmarked Vauxhall Corsa police car, accompanied by members of his family.

The Corsa was joined at the property by an unmarked blue Vauxhall Astra containing two uniformed police officers.

The officers closed two large wooden gates to the property after the Corsa had driven in before guarding the driveway.

One of the officers said: "The family don't want any interaction with the press right now and ask that you respect their privacy."

Fearless Mr Kenny, 77, was stabbed in the abdomen with a 10-inch blade as he tackled Jo’s armed attacker .

He watched in horror as she fell to the floor in a pool of her own blood - then ran from his car in a desperate, last ditch bid to save her life.

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But he was hit by the blade which pierced his liver, narrowly missing his heart and other major organs.

Eyewitnesses told how the retired mine rescue worker indicated to his wife that he was ‘okay’ as he lay on the ground wounded.

Left with serious wounds, he lay close to the mum-of-two who was mortally wounded.

The pensioner was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where he was said to be in a stable condition, his loving wife Doreen is at his bedside.

But he has now been released home.

Eyewitness Clarke Rothwell told how Mr Kenny ‘tried to intervene physically’ as Jo was killed. He added: ‘He fell to the ground. Everybody backed off.”

Dance teacher Colin Frith, who rushed to help Bernard in the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s attack, said: “He must be honoured for his bravery.

It takes a true hero, a very brave person, to put his own life at risk to try to save someone else’s.

“He is a true gentleman and his family must be so proud of him.”

Hundreds are backing an online appeal for him to receive the George Cross, the highest bravery award for a civilian.

A citation on the reads: ‘During the vicious, hellish attack on MP Jo Cox, an elderly gentleman by the name of Bernard Kenny tried to defend her.

“During the struggle, the attacker stabbed Bernard in the stomach with a ten inch knife.

“After the 77-year-old fell to the ground, his thoughts were only for others, as he mouthed ‘I’m OK’ to his terrified wife.

“We believe that Bernard Kenny deserves the highest honour for bravery that this country can award.

“The Cabinet Office must make it as quickly as possible, so our nation’s thoughts are on love and bravery rather than hate and fear.”

A separate GoFundMe page is also raising money for him.

Services at St Peter’s Church, less than half-a-mile from the centre of Birstall, paid tribute to Mr Kenny, a grandfather and dad-of-two.

The Rev Paul Knight read the story of the Good Samaritan from the Bible, saying it was a fitting message. He told the congregation: “There is much wickedness in our world.

“But thank God there is so much goodness - goodness that does not recognise colour, not nationality.”

© Provided by Mirror On Twitter, Neil Sampson saluted his bravery, while Katie Magnet wrote: "He deserves recognition for his selfless, heroic actions.”

Members of the National Union of Miners , and firemen also praised his actions on social media.

Bernard has been commended for his bravery in the past. In 1973, he was a member of the Gomersal Mines Rescue team who tried to save victims of the Lofthouse mining disaster.

Seven men lost their lives at the site just north of Wakefield after gallons of water flooded the seam.

In an interview on the 30th anniversary of the disaster, he recalled: “The conditions we had to work in were rough. I’ve never seen conditions like it and I never want to see them again. It was very bad.

“You were up to your neck in water and breathing apparatus was needed because there was a high percentage of gas. We never gave up.

“We went on with it because you ought to do. It was your duty to try and help them and it was sad when it had to be called off.”

Tony Banks, chairman of the Lofthouse Disaster Trust charity, said of his attempt to save the MP’s life: “It is the sort of thing he would do.”

The George Cross takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals except the Victoria Cross.

It is the highest gallantry award for civilians, as well as for members of the armed forces where purely military honours would not normally be granted.

*Thomas Mair, from Birstall, appeared in court on Saturday charged with Mrs Cox’s murder, grievous bodily harm against Mr Kenny, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of a knife.

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He was remanded in custody and was due to appear before Westminister magistrates again today.

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