Published: 16:45, 03 July 2017
An unarmed dad went to the aid of a pizza delivery man being robbed at knifepoint and disarmed him.
Alex Mamaliga had been held up by two teenagers after being lured to Bekesbourne railway station.
As he fled for his life, he began banging on front doors for help along Station Approach before hiding under a car.
It was then that courageous Ivan Olbrechts and son Joel went outside, only to find themselves confronted by a drink and drug-fuelled thug.
Judge Heather Norton heard how after ordering his son back into the house for safety, Mr Olbrechts took on George Lilford, who was brandishing a knife.
Prosecutor Tanya Robinson told Canterbury Crown Court how Lilford was disarmed during a struggle and then he and his son held the robber for 18 minutes before police arrived.
Lilford, 19, of Cranmer Close, Bekesbourne has now been sent to a Young Offender’s Institute jailed for 44 months after admitting robbery, affray and having a knife and using it to threaten Mr Olbrechts.
His pal Bailey 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, the court heard.
But in the early hours of April 9, Carew-Wootton telephoned for the delivery of a pizza to near the railway station, even though they had no money.
The incident was captured on CCTV and shown to the court, showing how Lilford produced a knife and ordered the terrified Mr Mamaliga to run away after slashing his car’s tyres.
He was seen running from house to house seeking refuge before hiding under a car as the two teenagers took the pizza and searched his vehicle “presumably for money”, Ms Robinson added.
The victim later told police he had been delivering pizzas for 18 months without incident, but no longer felt safe.
"He had ordered pizza and things just went completely out of control..." - David Howell, defending
He said: “This incident has made me fear for my life but this is my job. 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” 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 and 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.”
More by this authorPaul Hooper