‘No drama’: Hero dad would do it again
WARNING: Graphic image
The Melbourne father who jumped over his neighbour's fence when he heard her terrified screams before being bashed by three thugs says he would do the same thing again "in a heartbeat".
Dad-of-three Russell Irwin was toasting marshmallows with his kids when he heard a gut-curdling scream from the woman next door to his Cranbourne North home about 7.15pm on February 1.
He immediately jumped the fence and went to help her.
But when he got inside his neighbour's house he was confronted by at least three intruders armed with an tomahawk axe, baseball bat and a gun.
The three men stabbed the 41-year-old multiple times in the back before he was hit over the head, leaving him with a cracked skull.
His heroic efforts allowed his neighbour to escape unharmed.
Mr Irwin told NCA NewsWire after being released from hospital that all he wanted was to make sure she was safe.
He said she came around on Monday night to say thank you, which was the first time they had met in person.
"She gave me a beautiful card saying thanks for saving her life and everything which probably hit more at home than anything else," Mr Irwin said.
"She's pretty rattled by it.
"I said to her 'I gave you a chance to get out' and she said 'once they were in the backyard with you I got a chance to run out of the house' and that's all I was after."
The heroic act left Mr Irwin needing 20 stitches to mend his fractured skull and he will be off work for at least two weeks.
He said he was lucky to avoid surgery but has been nursing headaches and has needed to take pain and anti-seizure medication.
He said he had been "pretty overwhelmed" by the public response since the attack.
When asked if he would do it again if confronted with a similar situation, Mr Irwin said: 'In a heartbeat, not a drama at all".
And while he admitted the word hero didn't sit comfortably with him, he said he did what he thinks most people would do in the same situation.
"If someone needs a hand like that you bloody do it," he said.
"Don't hesitate to make sure someone is OK, that's all I care about.
"Just when I jumped the fence I didn't realise there would be two blokes coming at me."
The three attackers remain on the run.
They ransacked a bedroom of the Lindenow Court home before fleeing on foot.
Detective Senior Constable Alexander Fiore said Mr Irwin was "extremely brave".
"I know the occupants of the address are very grateful for his involvement," he said.
The investigation by Casey Crime Investigation Unit detectives into the aggravated home invasion remains ongoing.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or with information has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Originally published as 'No drama': Hero dad would do it again