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While many of us would love to claim we'd be brave enough to tackle an armed robber, the chances are we'd probably find ourselves cowering under a table - which, by the way, is totally fine... given that they'd have a gun and all that.
One man had the advantage of being an ex-soldier, however, so found himself in a strong position to disarm a robber during a raid in a corner shop - before pinning him down and pointing the supposed weapon at the crook's head.
Antony Wolfe, 61, says his military training 'kicked in' as he wrestled James Gowland, 31, who was attempting to steal cash from a till while wielding the firearm - which turned out to be fake.
Wolfe, who is a retired teacher and an ex-soldier, had been alerted by neighbours about what was going on, and ran straight into the shop to take on the man.
Gowland had entered Ermin Food and Wine in Swindon, Wilshire, with a scarf over his face on 20 January, brandishing the gun.
A court heard how he pointed the weapon at shopkeeper Jegan Kandaswamy and told him to hand over the money or he would shoot him.
Kandaswamy then unlocked the till so that Gowland could grab the cash. The gunman also took two bottles of Jack Daniel's whisky from a shelf.
Gowland, of Swindon, pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm, and was jailed for two years and ten months.
Thankfully, Wolfe arrived with a wood saw (maybe don't try that one at home, eh?) to intervene, grabbing hold of the gun barrel, twisting it away with both hands and pushing Gowland to the ground with the help of another member of the public.
Dad-of-two Wolfe said: "He pointed the gun at us. I charged forward, took the gun with both hands, twisted it and took it off him.
"I couldn't get him to the ground and we crashed into sweets and chocolate shelves which fell over.
"I thought, 'It's far better that an idiot doesn't have a gun and that I have it.'
"I wasn't sure whether it was loaded. At that point I had it in my hand - it was heavy and I hadn't got a clue whether it was real or not.
"The shopkeeper was stuck in a corner behind the counter - he was trapped by the robber who was about to leave the shop when we arrived."
Wolfe had completed his basic army training as an 18-year-old, but later went on to forge a career as a secondary school teacher.
However, he said he remembered his combat training drills from over 40 years ago when he received a distress call from a neighbour.
The store was empty besides Kandaswamy, Gowland and the two have-a-go heroes who detained him.
Wolfe added: "I was in the army for a year when I was 18 and completed basic training.
"It's amazing to think that it kicked in to help me in the moment.
"We had him pinned on the ground for seven minutes while waiting for police but it felt like forever.
"He was struggling at the start but we managed to suppress him."
Gowland pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm. Swindon Crown Court heard he was in debt with drug dealers and suffered with depression, following a number of bereavements.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
Topics: UK News
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