The heroic female shop assistant who rugby tackled robber at Sunderland store

Deborah Mulley, who rugby-tackled a robber at Premier Convenience Store in Castletown where she works
Deborah Mulley, who rugby-tackled a robber at Premier Convenience Store in Castletown where she works
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A HEROIC shop assistant today told how she rugby tackled a robber to the ground as he tried to steal cash and drink from her store.

Brave Deborah Mulley, 52, was working her afternoon shift at Premier Convenience Store, in Ethel Terrace, Castletown, when Ian Wilson and Thomas Brown entered, just minutes after Sunderland had beaten Newcastle United 1-0 at St James’s Park on Sunday, December 21.

Premier Convenience Store, Ethel Terrace, Castletown

Premier Convenience Store, Ethel Terrace, Castletown

Deborah was in another area of the shop floor when she noticed one of the men picking up a crate of lager, while the other tried to get behind the till where her frightened colleague Chelsea Prudhoe, 23, was.

Recalling the incident, Deborah said: “When I saw him behind the till I just ran over and grabbed him.

“He had a bag he’d put the money in and I managed to grab one of those off him.

“After I’d done that they just walked off with a case.”

Workers Chelsea Prudhoe, left, and Deborah Mulley outside Premier Convenience Store, in Ethel Terrace, Castletown

Workers Chelsea Prudhoe, left, and Deborah Mulley outside Premier Convenience Store, in Ethel Terrace, Castletown

Read more: Jailed: Sunderland shop-raid pair who threatened to stab have-a-go worker
Speaking about why she sprung into action, quick-thinking Deborah added: “It was just instinct taking over because I saw Chelsea was in danger behind the till.

“The adrenalin was running and I didn’t even think about it.”

The staff were later asked to ID the pair, which helped secure convictions for armed robbery.

They will now spend four years and eights months each behind bars.

“We’re over the moon with the sentence,” said Deborah.

“They deserve it because they shouldn’t have done this.

“It was a daft, stupid thing to do.”

Chelsea, whose mum Donna is manager at the store, said: “We didn’t expect them to get as long in prison, but it was a scary thing to happen to us.

“When the man got behind the counter I just did what he said.

“If Deb hadn’t tackled him I don’t know what would have happened.”

Praising Deborah’s quick-thinking actions, Donna said: “What Deborah did was amazing.

“Not many people would have done it in that situation.

“She saw Chelsea was in trouble and tried to help.

“Hopefully the prison sentence the two men will do will deter other people doing it, and make them think twice about the consequences.”