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‘It was instinct’ – the Sunderland street hero who wrestled a cashpoint robber

Samaritan Jeffery Spain next to the cash point at the Barclays Bank branch in Chester Road, where he helped at women who had been attacked by two men after withdrawing money from the cashpoint machine

Samaritan Jeffery Spain next to the cash point at the Barclays Bank branch in Chester Road, where he helped at women who had been attacked by two men after withdrawing money from the cashpoint machine

HAVE-A-GO hero Jeffrey Spain told today how he helped stop a cashpoint robbery after wrestling a mugger to the ground.

Jeffrey thought nothing for his own safety when he rushed to rescue a screaming woman from two hooded yobs.

Tackling the attackers, he made a citizens arrest and held one on the ground until police arrived.

Jeffrey, 46, said: “I didn’t really think about it, I just heard the lady screaming and ran over the road and grabbed one.

“It was instinct.”

The Echo revealed last week how David Thompson had been jailed for 28 months after he pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at Newcastle Crown Court.

Jeffrey had been waiting at a bus-stop on Chester Road at 5.45pm last Christmas Eve when he spotted Thompson and another man lurking behind a woman at a cashpoint on the opposite side of the road.

He said: “I was waiting for a bus to Red House where I was dropping presents off for my two lads at the ex’s house.

“I’d spotted the two of them wearing hoods or hats but didn’t really think anything more until I heard the woman screaming.”

Thompson, 37, and his accomplice had lunged over and tried to grab the £250 the woman was withdrawing to spend in the Boxing Day sales.

Jeffrey, who lives nearby, added: “I shouted and started running over the road.

“One of the lads legged it down the street but I grabbed hold of the other one and punched him in the face.

“He was shouting at me, calling me a nonce and trying to get away.”

With the help of a second man, Ani Abel, Jeffrey held Thompson to the ground and checked the victim was not hurt while the police were called.

When sentencing Thompson, Judge John Milford praised Jeffrey’s brave actions.

He said: “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.”

Jeffrey, who usually walks rather than getting the bus, said: “I don’t think I did very much I just wanted to help that lady.”

Detective Constable Dave Lunn, who investigated the case, said: “While we do not normally encourage members of the public to put themselves at risk, we appreciate the efforts of Mr Spain in helping to put this offender behind bars and we’d like to thank him. I’m pleased his actions have been recognised by the judge in this case.”

 

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