Published: 17:00, 03 October 2016 |
Updated: 08:30, 04 October 2016
A Hythe petrol pump attendant who fought off an armed robber has been given a bravery award.
Alan Pithman was working at the BP garage at Seabrook in April when he was confronted by the masked raider armed with a knife and a baseball bat.
The nasty robber shouted: “I am going to stab you” and demanded money, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
But the courageous worker refused to hand over the cash and despite being struck managed to grab the robber’s balaclava, forcing him to flee empty-handed.
Judge Adele Williams praised him for his courage – and awarded him a £300 High Sheriff’s Award.
She then jailed bungling raider Daniel O’Leary for seven years after he admitted attempted robbery and possessing a knife in public.
"It must have been a very distressing experience for him and we would never encourage people to step in as he did" - DC Carl Evans
Prosecutor Claire Cooper told how Mr Pithman had been working just after midnight on April 28 when the 28-year-old robber walked in.
She said O'Leary, who has no fixed address, was wearing a face mask and holding a knife and a baseball bat and demanded money.
“He told Mr Pithman: ‘I am going to stab you’. But the attendant bravely grabbed the mask before he was hit and the defendant ran off.”
The court heard that O’Leary, who has 40 previous convictions, was high on a cocktail of drink and drugs at the time.
He was traced after police recovered DNA from the balaclava he had left behind. Another man who is believed to have been involved has never been caught.
Judge Williams told him: “In my view this was a serious professional crime as you had armed yourself with two weapons.”
After sentencing, Detective Constable Carl Evans said: "We soon identified O’Leary as a suspect and DNA from his balaclava confirmed it was him."
He also paid tribute to Mr Pithman, adding: "It must have been a very distressing experience for him and we would never encourage people to step in as he did, yet his quick-thinking secured valuable DNA evidence."
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.