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Rare bravery award for Ladbrokes cashier who tackled knifeman
A BETTING shop cashier who put his life on the line when he tackled an armed thug has been honoured in a rare ceremony.
Peter Croot, 29, not only forced the raider to flee empty handed but pulled off the man’s disguise which gave detectives their first pointer as to who had been terrorising a Southampton community.
It led to heroin addict Sid Pumford being jailed for what Judge Derwin Hope, the Honorary Recorder of Southampton, said the Daily Echo had “rightly called” a knife-and-machete-wielding rampage.
Judge Hope revealed it was only the third time in his 20 years he had t a k e n part in such a ceremony after the High Sheriff of Hampshire, Rupert Younger, presented Mr Croot with a certificate and a £1,000 cheque.
“You have been terribly brave,” Judge Hope told Mr Croot.
Judges, court staff and guests had watched a closed circuit recording of the drama that unfolded in Ladbrokes in Butts Road, Sholing, on April 7 when a masked raider suddenly leapt over the counter brandishing a large kitchen knife and demanded that Mr Croot “go empty the safe”.
However, Mr Croot defied the threat.
He said: “I had been working hard all week and I thought to myself, ‘No, you’re not having it’.”
As Pumford went to take money from the till, the cashier seized the opportunity to grab him, twisting his arm behind his back and bundling him on to the ground where he pulled off his jacket, scarf and hat.
It was o n l y when he went to answer a phone call from the firm’s security team – whom he had alerted by pressing an alarm button – that Pumford was able to escape, but his face was clearly captured by CCTV cameras in the shop.
“I couldn’t believe what had happened,” said Mr Croot recalling the incident.
“You never knowwhat you will do until it happens. Why did I do it? I don’t know. I acted instinctively.
“I don’t regard myself as a hero. I did what I did. I am pleased that he’s off the streets and he got 19 years. He was a menace to the community.”
In August Pumford pleaded guilty to three robberies and one attempted robbery. Judge Hope described him as dangerous and said he posed a serious risk to the public.
He then handed him a sentence of 14 years in jail with a five-year extension on licence, meaning he will be under the notice of authorities for 19 years
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