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Rochester dad who stopped Twydall Co-op raid speaks after robber is jailed

A heroic father who leapt into action when a knifeman entered a supermarket, has spoken out after the attacker was locked up.

Danny Martin, formerly of Goudhurst Road, Twydall, was sentenced to eight years in prison for armed robbery.

Co-op team member Sharon Trice and manager Laura Charles with Marc Harris
Co-op team member Sharon Trice and manager Laura Charles with Marc Harris

He stole £1,000 and cigarettes from the Co-op in Twydall Green then went on to target the branch in Delce Road, Rochester.

At the same time, Marc Harris popped into the store for a pint of milk.

The father of two, of Howard Avenue, Rochester, looked on in shock as a masked Martin slammed his hand on the counter and threatened a woman behind the till at knife point.

Mr Harris said: "The lady behind the counter was so petrified she could not move.

"He was demanding money but she couldn't physically move to get it.

Marc Harris who came to the aid of a woman during an armed robbery in the Delce Road Co-op
Marc Harris who came to the aid of a woman during an armed robbery in the Delce Road Co-op

"Then the robber jumped on the till and I saw the angle of the knife turn towards her."

Shop assistant Sharon Trice said: "I was very frightened and shocked, I wasn't expecting it.

"The robber was there with the knife really close to me, I stood back a bit, but he was just inches away."

Mr Harris said: "As soon as I realised she might get stabbed, I pushed the man off the counter and charged him out the shop."

The 36-year-old was not hurt during the struggle.

Danny Martin has been sentenced to eight years in prison for robbery. Kent Police (20318388)
Danny Martin has been sentenced to eight years in prison for robbery. Kent Police (20318388)

He added: "At the time I didn't have the chance to be scared."

Miss Trice said: "I had to go out the back of the shop for a bit. I was just so shaken, it's not something I want to experience again."

Mr Harris stayed in the Co-op until the police arrived and forensic officers dusted the shop for fingerprints.

Impressed by his bravery, friend Loz Glennon nominated Mr Harris for a Pride in Medway Award, which celebrates unsung heroes in the Towns.

He won the award for courage, sponsored by Bridgewood Manor Hotel, and was awarded it back in April.

Co-op team member Sharon Trice and manager Laura Charles with Marc Harris who came to the aid of a woman during an armed robbery in the Delce Road Co-op
Co-op team member Sharon Trice and manager Laura Charles with Marc Harris who came to the aid of a woman during an armed robbery in the Delce Road Co-op

On Monday, the evening Martin was sentenced, Mr Harris was at The National Police Public Bravery Awards in London, after being nominated by the Kent force.

Mr Glennon said: "He is a very community-minded man who always puts others before himself.

"He's the one person in the world I would want to be there in that situation.

"I do not think it is hyperbole to describe him as heroic."

Mr Harris was gifted a bottle of his favourite rum for his bravery by the Co-op.

Store manager Laura Charles said: "I'd love to say a massive thank you to Marc, if it wasn't for him it could have been a very different situation."

Marc Harris collects the Bridgewood Manor Hotel sponsors award at the Pride in Medway Awards
Marc Harris collects the Bridgewood Manor Hotel sponsors award at the Pride in Medway Awards

Mr Harris laughed as he said: "What really got me was that the robber brought his own plastic bag in with him, like he couldn't afford one of the 5p ones to put all his stuff in.

"Then of course that had all of his DNA on it."

On hearing the sentence, he said: "It's bitter-sweet really, he's already spent a year on remand and is likely to only serve three more years.

"It's a shame when you look at all the amazing work Kent Police do, I feel he should have got more time.

"I couldn't believe it when I won a Pride in Medway Award and now I'm here tonight, it really is incredible.

"I'd love to have a look at the CCTV footage from the Co-op, my old man is dying to see it."

If you know someone who has shown bravery like Mr Harris nominate them for the Pride in Medway Awards 2020 here.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.


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