WATCH: Moment heroic taxi driver tackles Chesterfield armed robber
This is the moment a heroic taxi driver tackled an armed robber at a petrol station.
The taxi driver, Karl Holden, was praised for his actions by police after the two armed robbers he tackled at a petrol station in Warsop were jailed for a combined ten years six months.
Otis Kirby, 20, of Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield, was jailed for five years and three months after pleading guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on September 12.
And at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday, Richard Dowdall, 27, was also jailed for five years and three months after admitting robbery and possession of a bladed article.
The court heard that Kirby and Dowdall, both wearing face coverings, entered the Castelle Service Station on Sherwood Street at 7.20am on August 5 2017.ã€€
Kirby was brandishing a firearm and Dowdall, of no fixed address, had a knife as they demanded money from the till.
The court heard that a taxi driver pulled onto the petrol station forecourt as the robbery was taking place. He decided to intervene and wrestled with the pair but they managed to escape and ran off.
As a result of the scuffle Kirby left behind a trainer, baseball cap and imitation firearm. Officers were able to forensically link Kirby to the robbery via DNA on the cap and trainer left at the scene.
Speaking after Dowdall’s sentencing Detective Sergeant Ricky Ellis said: "Although we'd never condone members of the public taking the law into their own hands and putting themselves in harm's way we commend the bravery shown by the community-minded taxi driver who confronted the robbers.
"As a result we were able to recover items from the scene which assisted with our swift arrests of Kirby and Dowdall.
"This was an extremely terrifying ordeal for the petrol station worker who was confronted by the men. We hope today's sentencing provides some comfort and reassurance now that both Kirby and Dowdall are off the streets."
Garage owner Tristan King also praised Karl, who works for ACE-ABC taxis for his actions.
He said: “He (Karl) told me he thought something wasn't quite right so he parked right in front of the door.
“By that point they were just about to leave, so I tackled them and went for the guy with the gun first.
“He managed to get hold of them and roughed them up a bit. Honestly, the CCTV footage looks like something out of an action film.
“His actions meant we could get a better look at their faces on CCTV, thanks to this hero of a man who put his life at risk.”
Mr King said the thieves only got away with about Â£100 – as that is the most cash ever kept on site.
He said: “It was an awful thing for our staff to have to go through, but we want to celebrate what Karl has done and will be giving him a reward.”
Mr King said he had now employed a company to watch the CCTV at the garage so police could be called immediately if anything similar happened and because he wanted his staff to feel safe.