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Hero shopkeeper gets bravery award
8:00am Friday 3rd August 2012 in Chelmsford News
A HEROIC shop owner who tackled an armed robber, and held him in a headlock until police arrived, has been given a bravery award.
David Leeks, 23, sprang into action when the thug, armed with a chisel, stormed into his family-run fish and chip shop.
David, along with his sister Charlotte, 21, confronted the hooded raider and together managed to hold him until police came.
David, of Springfield Park Road, Chelmsford, has received a Police Public Bravery award for his actions.
He said: “We had just closed for the night when a group of lads outside started banging on the window.
“Me and my sister went to move them away, but they were just distracting us while the other guy came in through the back door and tried to steal cash.
“When I saw it all happening I just knew I needed to do something.
“It all happened in a bit of blur, but looking back, I didn’t think I would act the way I did. It was just instinct really.”
During the fracas at the West Road Fish Bar, in Shoebury, the robber tripped and stabbed the former Boswells School pupil in the head with the chisel.
David still wrestled with the robber, who fell on top of Charlotte who managed to prise the chisel from his grasp.
This gave David the chance to get the thug in a headlock in which he held him in until officers arrived.
David, who used to work at the former Fish ‘n’ Chick’n shop in Chelmer Village, added: “He was quite strong and a bit taller than me, but I didn’t think about it.
“I am just glad things didn’t get worse. I am really pleased and proud of this award.”
Robber Martin Dennington, 33, who at the time lived in Park Street, Westcliff, was jailed for four years for robbery.
Southend Insp Matt Bennett said: “He acted like a skilled professional which is quite outstanding, especially considering he is so young. He did a fantastic job keeping his composure and staying calm.”
Charlotte is also in line for recognition for her part in overcoming the raider during the incident on January 28 last year.