TWO men who tried to intervene as a beautician was stabbed to death have been described as heroes by police.

Melissa Belshaw, 32, was attacked in Upholland Road, Billinge, on Wednesday.

Police said her 13-year-old daughter rang the emergency services to raise the alarm.

St Helens Star:

Floral tributes left to Melissa

Two men tried to stop the attack and one, in his 40s, was taken to hospital after being stabbed, the force said.

A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder after police were called to the address , shortly before 4.10pm.

Miss Belshaw died at the scene despite best efforts from paramedics.

St Helens Star:

Police remain at the scene

Superintendent Chris Bridge said: "There were two members of the public, who are not connected to this incident, who showed extreme bravery.

"I use the word hero, the word hero is used very often, but in these circumstances I think it really sums up the way that these two people behaved because they ran towards danger upon seeing this incident and intervened.

"One of those persons did receive injuries from the male and thankfully those injuries aren't life-threatening.

"Can I really, really thank those people.

"My intention is to speak to them at some stage later and offer my heartfelt thanks."

St Helens Star:

The injured man was said to be in a stable condition in hospital.

Mr Bridge said the arrested manand Miss Belshaw, who has not yet been formally identified by police, were known to each other.

He added: "The daughter of the poor deceased lady was present and I can't possibly imagine what that daughter has gone through.

"She is being supported by specially trained officers."

He appealed for anyone who was in the area and had not yet come forward to contact police as they could have "vital evidence".

Ms Belshaw's friend, Leanne Fairhurst, told the Manchester Evening News: "She had a good heart, she was so outgoing and was always smiling and loved a good time.

"When we used to go parties, Melissa was always the one trying to make everybody laugh.

"I just broke down in tears when I found out.

"I have lost a good friend and I am going to miss her so much."

St Helens Star:

Loving messages are among the tributes

Mr Bridge said he wanted to reassure the community it was an isolated incident and there was no wider threat.

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting incident number 1981 of 20/05/20.

Reports can also be made anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.