Norwich homeless man saves girl’s life

Homeless hero Martin Vincent on Grapes Hill bridge. Picture David Bale

Homeless hero Martin Vincent on Grapes Hill bridge. Picture David Bale - Credit: Archant

A homeless man claims to have saved a girl's life after pushing her out of the way of a car – but he was hit and suffered multiple injuries in the process.

Martin Vincent, 35, who is a well-known figure on Grapes Hill bridge in Norwich, was waiting to cross the road at the pedestrian traffic lights in Chapel Field Road, near Vauxhall Street, when he spotted a young girl walking onto the carriageway.

He said: 'There was a young girl, aged about five or six, who was waiting with her parents and playing with a Barbie doll. She started to walk across the road when the lights changed. I heard a screech of brakes, and a car was coming, so I pushed the girl onto the path.

'But the car hit me, and I landed on the windscreen. I lost consciousness and woke up to see people around me. I broke my wrist and arm, and went to the walk-in clinic and then onto the hospital. I also suffered a cut to my forehead and needed super glue to stitch it up. I also twisted a ligament.'

Police confirmed that they attended an incident involving a car and a pedestrian on Saturday, February 23 at about 2.15pm, but their report had no mention of a girl being saved and they are not investigating the incident.

Mr Vincent, who has been homeless for about six months and sells his drawings on Grapes Hill bridge, said that since word of his exploits had become known, he had been something of a hero in the area.

'People have been coming up to me saying that what I did was heroic, but it was just instinct, really. But I'm glad that I had my wits about me,' he added.

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He said that he had been staying with friends to recuperate, and had only now returned to his spot on the bridge.

Do you know the girl who was saved by Mr Vincent or her parents? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email