WHEN a robber armed with a machete threatened members of the public in a busy high street, Carl May didn't give a single thought to his own safety.

Instead he chased after and tackled the man as he waved the weapon in his face.

In an attempt to knock it out of the man's hands, he struck him on the shoulder, putting his own life at risk.

This week the 30-year-old former Army officer from Southampton was commended for his actions.

Mr May, a plant operator, was working in Stoke-on-Trent in October last year when the incident took place.

The offender was one of two brothers who had committed a series of armed robberies at post offices and convenience stores in North Staff-ordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Following one of the robberies, one of the brothers was arrested but the other struck again, brandishing a machete at a female cashier at an Alldays store.

He and his girlfriend were found to be staying at a hotel in Stoke-on- Trent, where Mr May was also a guest.

After police opened the man's door with a pass key he confronted them with the machete before rushing past them.

Mr May was entering the front door of the hotel when the man came running out.

He joined the police in their pursuit. When a motorist blocked the offender's path Mr May tried to knock the machete out of his hand, striking him on the shoulder.

Cornered by the police, the offender eventually dropped the weapon and was arrested. "I wasn't really scared," said Mr May.

"It was just natural instinct. I was more concerned for the members of the public. He was running up the high street waving the machete around at old ladies."

In February this year at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, the man was jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to two offences of robbery,

burglary, affray, and possessing an offensive weapon.

This week Mr May, who lives with his girlfriend and her daughter, received a certificate of appreciation from the Chief Constable of Staffordshire police for his courageous public-spirited action.

Chief Constable of Staffordshire police, John Giffard, said: "I am always delighted to recognise the efforts of public spirited people like Mr May."