Have-a-go Hero Hits Gunman with Chair
FURIOUS betting shop customer Martin Richardson leapt into action as an armed robber threatened to shoot him — flattening him with a chair.
Brave Martin's citizen's arrest — shown in amazing CCTV footage — came as the masked raider appeared to cock the gun ready to fire and ordered him to open the door so he could escape.
But 18 stone man mountain Martin, 48, — father of Leeds Rhinos rugby league star Ryan Bailey — said: "I looked him in the eyes, he was just a few feet from me.
"I thought: 'I am not opening the door, if he shoots me, he shoots me but I am not opening that door'.
"Then I picked up the chair and smashed him twice with it. He went down and I managed to kick the gun out of his hand."
Amateur rugby player Martin — a former judo enthusiast — then locked his legs round stunned robber Azar Sulman and pinned him to the ground for SEVEN MINUTES as police raced to the William Hill bookies in Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Sulman, 20, who carried out four raids in three months on the betting chain — including three at Burley — was yesterday starting a six year jail sentence for robbery and attempted robbery.
And 5ft 11ins Martin, from Leeds, was praised by a judge at Leeds Crown Court for his "tremendous courage."
The punter was playing on fruit machines at bookies when masked Sulman burst in brandishing a hand gun in January.
Shocked staff put up their hands as he forced cashier Dean Key to hand over cash. Then he started storming round the bookies threatening customers at pistol point.
But Martin refused to budge as he blocked the way out and found himself staring down the barrel of the handgun.
Martin said: "I stood back near the door. He was near a table and it looked like he was cocking the gun. He wanted me to open the door and kept shouting he would shoot me if I did not open it.
"I was scared, I couldn't be certain whether the gun was real or not, I thought he might shoot me anyway for getting in his way.
"I looked him in the eyes, he was just a few feet from me — but I was not going to open that door."
The CCTV footage shows Martin grab a metal frame chair and then lunge at Sulman as the raider backed away pointing the gun.
Then in an overhead motion he brought the chair down on the terrified gunman's head. And he followed it up by crashing the chair down on him again before kicking the gun out of his hand.
Martin added: "I managed to get my legs around his body and held him there for seven minutes until the police came. I used to do judo and he could not move. I have to admit I was shaking when I was on the floor."
Prosecutor Michael Smith, said police had since discovered the gun was a fake — but Martin had "no way" of knowing that it was not loaded with bullets.
Judge Scott Wolstenholme sentenced Sulman to six years and awarded Martin £250 from public funds for his courage.
The court heard that Sulman — who had been a "model student" while attending college — had got involved with drugs and turned to crime to pay for a £200 a week cannabis habit.
Judge Wolstenholme branded him an "immature fantasist" who had brought shame on his family.
His run of raids began on November 26 last year when he robbed the Burley shop at gunpoint and made off with £355.
On December 22 he struck at another William Hill shop in the city — but fled with just small change from the till.
He tried to raid the Burley shop again on January 14 but ran off empty-handed after the staff escaped through a back door.
Finally two weeks later as he tried to flee with takings from Burley he was thwarted by father-of-three Martin.
Paul Williams, representing Sulman, from Leeds, said he was a naïve young man who had been too ashamed and humiliated to tell his family about his drug involvement and debts.
William Hill manageress Patricia White, 41, said: "These were frightening attacks but I won't let people like that affect me or my job. If people come into William Hill in future they won't be getting any money.
"We are not there simply to be targeted to dole out money to drug dealers."
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2971733/Have-a-go-hero-hits-armed-crook.html#ixzz0nsBAlNmF
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