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Ivan Olbrechts tackles armed robber at Bekesbourne railway station

Dramatic CCTV footage shows the moment a brave dad tackled a knife-wielding teenager who had robbed a pizza deliveryman just moments before.

Ex-Army reservist Ivan Olbrechts grappled with alcohol-fuelled George Lilford before pinning him to the ground for 18 minutes until police arrived.

Film of the heroic intervention was played before Canterbury Crown Court as Lilford and pal Bailey Carew-Wootton, both 19, were put behind bars for their part in the robbery.

Brave Ivan Olbrechts confronts knife-wielding George Lilford
Brave Ivan Olbrechts confronts knife-wielding George Lilford

A judge was told how the pair had lured pizza man Alex Mamaliga to the isolated Bekesbourne railway station in the early hours of April 9 to ambush him.

CCTV showed Lilford pull the knife on a terrified Mr Mamaliga, who fled as the thug slashed the tyres on his car.

Mr Mamaliga banged on nearby doors shouting for help as Lilford and Carew-Wootton rummaged through his vehicle looking for cash.

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But Lilford had not bargained on Mr Olbrechts, who answered the door and told his son to call police before confronting the teenager.

“I thought this guy wasn’t going to back down,” he told the Gazette.

“I needed to disarm him.

“He was shouting 'I'm going to stab you if you don't give me your phone'.

“He had a four-and-a-half inch blade on him and was waving it around.

Police arriving at the scene to detain George Lilford
Police arriving at the scene to detain George Lilford

"I was thinking ‘I’m going to hit him in a minute’, but I waited until my son was safe.”

Moments later the 46-year-old decided to take drastic action “We both ended up on the floor,” he recalled.

“He’s a strong lad but I had to get the knife off him.

“He was off his face. He was aggressively shouting, saying he was going to stab me.

Despite being disarmed, restrained and helpless, he continued to dish out threats.

He was saying ‘I know where you live’ and I was thinking, ‘well, I know where you live too’.”

Mr Olbrechts, who has lived in Bekesbourne for 10 years, pinned Lilford to the ground until police arrived at the scene.

“I thought they would turn up in a few minutes, but it was about 20,” he said.

George Lilford posing with a gun, in a picture posted on Facebook
George Lilford posing with a gun, in a picture posted on Facebook

The court had heard that Mr Mamaliga had been delivering pizza for 18 months before the terrifying robbery and later told police he no longer felt safe.

“This incident has made me fear for my life, but this is my job,” he said.

“It will be hard to continue delivering pizzas as I will be worried that this will happen again.”

Phil Rowley, defending Lilford, said both men were “heavily intoxicated”.

Lilford, who was hoping to study engineering at university, accepted that “the course of his whole life had now changed and he was remorseful”.

David Howell, for Carew-Wootton, said the teenager was not aware that his friend had a knife and had told him to leave Mr Olbrechts alone.

“He had ordered pizza and things just went completely out of control,” Mr Howell said.

“He is normally a hard worker and was horrified about the attack on the delivery man. This was just a blip in his life. He wants to study at Norwich University.”

George Lilford. Picture: Kent Police
George Lilford. Picture: Kent Police

Judge Norton said she took no pleasure in jailing two young men who had behaved “totally out of character.”

“The court always thinks very, very hard and carefully before passing sentences like this on young men, but I would be failing in my duty if I didn’t,” she said.

“But when you are released you will still be very young men. Get on with your lives, live them and live them well.”

Lilford, 19, of Cranmer Close, Bekesbourne, was sent to a Young Offender’s Institute for 44 months after admitting robbery, affray and having a knife and using it to threaten Mr Olbrechts.

Carew-Wootton, 19, formerly of Richmond Road in Whitstable, but now Westgate Bay Avenue, Westgate, received a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to robbery.

Both teenagers had no previous convictions, were well educated and both planned to study at university this year.

Alex Mamaliga had been delivering pizza for 18 months before the terrifying robbery and later told police he no longer felt safe.

“This incident has made me fear for my life, but this is my job,” he said.

“It will be hard to continue delivering pizzas as I will be worried that this will happen again.”

Bailey Carew-Wootton. Picture: Kent Police
Bailey Carew-Wootton. Picture: Kent Police

Phil Rowley, defending Lilford, said both men were “heavily intoxicated” after downing beer and shorts for several hours.

Lilford, who was hoping to study engineering at university, accepted that “the course of his whole life had now changed and he was remorseful”.

David Howell, for Carew-Wootton, said the teenager was not aware that his friend had a knife and had told him to leave Mr Olbrechts alone.

“He had ordered pizza and things just went completely out of control,” Mr Howell said.

“He is normally a hard worker and was horrified about the attack on the delivery man.

“This was just a blip in his life. He wants to study at Norwich University.”

Judge Norton said she took no pleasure in jailing two young men who had behaved “totally out of character.”

“The court always thinks very, very hard and carefully before passing sentences like this on young men, but I would be failing in my duty if I didn’t,” she said.

“But when you are released you will still be very young men. Get on with your lives, live them and live them well.”

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