TWO heroic Bolton window cleaners rushed to the aid of a woman being attacked.

John Stephens, 38, and a colleague were working on a job in a Liverpool back street when they heard screaming.

"At first I thought it was just students messing around, but the second scream was blood-curdling and we knew it was something serious," said Mr Stephens, of Great Lever.

Without a thought for their own safety, they rushed to see what the noise was and found a man attacking a woman who was on her way to work.

The two window cleaners stepped in and chased off the attacker, saving the woman from what could have been a serious assault.

Mr Stephens said: "The lady, who was in her 50s, was distraught, shaking and crying. Her laptop was on the floor and she was obviously very upset.

"She couldn't thank us enough and gave us a kiss. We were just glad she was okay."

Police were called, and an investigation is currently underway.

Mr Stephens and his colleague work for Manchester-based Archer Window Cleaning.

Managing director Chris Oakes said: “Although my lads were there to clean windows, they have turned out to be invaluable in protecting the community in this instance. I’m so proud of my two staff members who have demonstrated that public safety goes above all else.”

The unnamed victim has since written to Mr Oakes expressing her appreciation, insisting that she believes things could have ended very differently had it not been for the two heroes' intervention.

And the manger of the charity shop where she works has also written a letter of gratitude.

She said: “Two of your staff were courageous and brave today, saving a female staff member from a very serious assault. They heard her screaming and came to investigate when a lot of people would of thought 'I’m not getting involved'. This could have ended in a very terrible way.

“On behalf of the company I work for I wish to give our deepest gratitude for the bravery they displayed in safeguarding her and chasing him and nearly apprehending him.”

She added: “You have shown there are still lovely people in the world and the highest professionalism coming to her aid. We are all very proud of you both.

“Your staff members are heroes in our world. Please keep these values as it’s people like you that make the world a better place”