A SOUTHAMPTON police officer who fought to save the life of a 30-year-old man in an horrific late night attack as been awarded a top national honour.

PC Nicholas Spratt has been awarded a Royal Humane Society Certificate of Commendation - after being credited with saving victim Robert Holden’s life.

The horror attack happened around midnight on July 22 last year when Robert Holden’s throat was slashed.

As reported PC Spratt and another officer were called to the scene on Commercial Road outside what was then The Encore pub and found Robert badly bleeding.

PC Spratt applied pressure to the injuries to stem the flow of blood - but when paramedics arrived they confirmed Robert was in urgent need of medical attention.

Now experts have said it’s thanks to PC Spratt’s swift on- the-spot treatment that the man he went on to recover.

At the time the Daily Echo reported how Robert’s family say the hunt for his attacker could easily have turned into a murder inquiry had it not been for PC Spratt’s actions.

No one has ever been charged over the incident.

They have released photographs of Mr Holden lying in hospital to illustrate the severity of the injury the officer had to deal with.

Robert’s stepdad Tim Cropp, 59, said: “Robert and his friend went outside the pub for a cigarette. At the same time a few other people tried to get in but for some reason were refused entry. At least one of them started hitting my stepson’s friend. Robert pulled them off and was hit from behind with a bottle.

“Luckily a policeman was nearby. He packed the wound with some sort of dressing and placed his hands either side of my son’s throat to stem the bleeding. If he hadn’t been there Robert would be dead and the police would be conducting a murder inquiry.

“I want everyone to know what a fantastic job the officer did.

“He should get an award for saving Robert’s life - he’s a hero in my view.”

In addition to the award he is to receive PC Spratt has also won the praise of Andrew Chapman, Secretary of the Royal Humane Society.

He said : “If PC Spratt had not reached the scene when he did and taken immediate action there is a very real risk that the man could have bled to death. PC Spratt richly deserves the award he is to receive. He almost certainly saved this attack victim’s life.”