A BRAVE passer-by who stopped a Christmas Eve cashpoint robbery by making a citizen’s arrest, has been commended by a judge.
Jeffrey Spain stepped in when he saw David Thompson trying to snatch £250 from a woman on Chester Road in Sunderland’s city centre, which she was planning to spend at the Boxing Day sales.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Mr Spain ran over when he heard the 30-year-old victim’s screams and punched Thompson in the face, before pulling him to the ground.
Mr Spain, with the help of a second man, Ani Abel, kept Thompson, who had his face covered with a hood and scarf, at the scene until the police arrived.
Thompson’s accomplice managed to get away. During the struggle Thompson told the men “I’ve done now’t man. I’ll be out in half an hour”.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday the 37-year-old, of no fixed address, was jailed for 28 months.
The judge said it was “heartening” to see members of the public step in to help someone in distress.
Judge John Milford, QC, praised Mr Spain’s behaviour and said he should be commended. The judge said: “Effectively, he made a citizen’s arrest to assist others.
“Mr Spain should be commended for his public-spirited behaviour in rescuing the victim and effecting the arrest of the offender.
“When members of the public are prepared to have a go they are to be congratulated.”
The judge said Mr Abel, who helped keep Thompson on the ground, should also be commended for his actions that day.
Thompson, who was on bail for an unrelated affray which he later admitted, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery.
The court heard the victim was left too afraid to go on her sale day shopping spree.
She told police: “I was supposed to be going shopping on Boxing Day, which is what the money was for, but I was too scared to go out.”
Shaun Routledge, defending, said Thompson is a “completely different man” now.
l Are you the Good Samaritan Mr Spain? Contact Craig Thompson, tel: 501 7146.