Hero who disarmed Sunderland gunman insists: ‘I’d do it again’

Kevin Bayliss wrestles gunman John Buckley during a raid in Sunderland.

Kevin Bayliss wrestles gunman John Buckley during a raid in Sunderland.

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A DAD has spoken of the moment he overcame a gun-wielding crook as he tried to rob a shop.

Former Military Police officer Kevin Bayliss has said he would have no hesitation in doing the same again after his bravery during the attack on a Sunderland newsagent.

John Buckley, 31, of no fixed abode,  charged with attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm when committing an offence after an attempted robbery at News 2000 newsagents in Roker Avenue on August 5.'''submitted pics'please see Ross Robertson

John Buckley, 31, of no fixed abode, charged with attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm when committing an offence after an attempted robbery at News 2000 newsagents in Roker Avenue on August 5.'''submitted pics'please see Ross Robertson

He stepped in as John Buckley, 33, raided News 2000 in Roker Avenue on the night of August 5, after shopkeeper Rasaratnam Rahulan refused to hand over cash.

Rasaratnam grabbed the firearm, later found to be an imitation, and was helped by Kevin, who’s identity was a mystery until now.

The incident – and the men’s bravery in overcoming Buckley – was captured on the shop’s security camera.

Kevin, a father-of-three, said: “I would definitely do it again.

John Buckley, 31, of no fixed abode,  charged with attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm when committing an offence after an attempted robbery at News 2000 newsagents in Roker Avenue on August 5.'''submitted pics'please see Ross Robertson

John Buckley, 31, of no fixed abode, charged with attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm when committing an offence after an attempted robbery at News 2000 newsagents in Roker Avenue on August 5.'''submitted pics'please see Ross Robertson

“I wasn’t doing it for personal glory or gain.

“I just don’t like vulnerable people getting hurt.”

He has spoken after Buckley, of no fixed abode and is on remand, was told by Judge Brian Foster to expect a jail term when he returns to Newcastle Crown Court on November 23 following reports.

He admitted attempted robbery, with the court told he had alcohol problems and had tried to commit suicide.

Kevin, 43, who was in the Military Police from the age of 16 and now works as a lorry driver, said: “I was trying to get some cash out the legal way – from the ATM machine – when the guy came in, then all of this started unfolding at the side of me.

“It seemed very surreal at the time.

“It was only when the shopkeeper went to grab the gun that I realised that there was something really serious happening.

“I didn’t know it wasn’t a real gun, but that seemed immaterial at the time.

“He could have had a gun or a knife or a friend waiting in the shop that wasn’t in my eyeshot but my instincts took over and I just knew I needed to control the situation so no one got hurt.

“I wasn’t scared really I was just doing what I would expect someone else to do if I was in that situation.”

He told customers heading in to the shop to keep out and feared a friend of Buckley’s could join in or that the raider was trying to grab a knife as he fought back.

Kevin, who now lives in Pontardawe, near Swansea Valley, South Wales, added: “When I had him on the floor, every time he moved or struggled I thought he might get out of the grip I had him in.

“I was physically exhausted holding him down for so long, it took every bit of energy I had.

“It seemed like an eternity before the police came in but they were really great when they did – very brave.”

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham