Have-a-go heroes praised for stopping robber who tried to snatch £30,000 from businessman at Kearsley Post Office
TWO heroes stopped a robber as he carried out a terrifying £30,000 street robbery.
Mark Neary and Stephen Nash grabbed masked raider Lewis Cassidy as he tried to steal more than £30,000 from a businessman as he went to deposit the cash at Kearsley Post Office, Bolton Crown Court heard.
The pair have been hailed as “brave and courageous” by Judge Peter Davies, who has also nominated them for a Greater Manchester Police bravery award.
Judge Davies, sentencing Cassidy yesterday at Bolton Crown Court, said: “Cassidy, you didn’t get away with the sum of money because of the brave and courageous efforts of two passers-by, Mr Neary and Mr Nash who both should be commended and congratulated for their fortitude.
“But for them you, Cassidy would have escaped. But for them Mr Ashad would have lost his money.”
Cassidy, who was armed with a stun gun, and another balaclava-clad robber, ambushed market trader Javad Ashad, as he went to pay cash into the Manchester Road post office at about 8.30am on August 7.
Quick-thinking Mr Ashad passed the money to his friend, Imran Khan, and told him to get into the post office in Manchester Road.
Mr Ashad tried to grab Cassidy, who attacked him with the stun gun, causing a head injury, prosecutor Craig MacGregor told the court.
The other masked robber attacked Mr Khan five times with another weapon. Mr Neary rushed to help and punched 18-year-old Cassidy in the face.
Cassidy, of George Street South, Salford, tried to fire the stun gun at Mr Neary, who jumped back and chased after him.
He shouted to Mr Nash, another passerby to help.
The pair caught Cassidy and held on to him until the police arrived and recovered the £30,349, the court heard.
In a victim impact statement Mr Ashad said he had worked hard all of his life and had been targeted by criminals three times, which left him “suspicious of everybody”. He said his head injury was still painful a month later. Cassidy was subject to a community order at the time of the incident for theft and threatening a witness over Facebook.
Tina Landale, defending, said Cassidy had been in care as a child from the age of 14 and was immature. She added that he was not a sophisticated criminal and was remorseful to his victims.
Cassidy admitted robbery and possessing a stun gun and was jailed for five years for robbery and two years for possessing the weapon. Both sentences will run concurrently.
Mr Neary, a DJ, speaking after the sentencing, said it was not the first time he had intervened in a crime. He added: “I have always been someone who intervenes when something happens. I don’t feel proud, I am just glad I did it and the man got his money back.
“It is the nice to hear what Judge Davies said as these people will prey on weaker people.”
Det Insp Denise Pye, for Bolton South NPT, said: “The members of the public who intervened were extremely brave, putting their lives at risk to stop the offenders from taking the money. This was a terrifying incident.”