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Soldier honoured for tackling thief

A soldier who courageously confronted a gun-wielding robber holding up a betting shop has been awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

Iraq veteran Corporal Jason Robinson, 27, foiled the raider and then chased him a mile down the road.

During the dramatic incident at a Ladbrokes in Acocks Green, Birmingham, the robber pointed the gun at the soldier and pulled the trigger, but fortunately the weapon did not fire.

Cpl Robinson, a driver with the Queen's Royal Hussars, was in the bookmakers as a customer on August 9 last year when Shazad Mahmood entered and threatened staff with a handgun.

The soldier ordered the robber to stop before running towards him. It was at this point that Mahmood turned the weapon on him and apparently tried to fire it. The raider fled empty-handed, pursued by Cpl Robinson, who gave up only when the getaway car was driven at him.

But the soldier had the presence of mind to record the vehicle's registration number, and on the basis of his evidence the robber pleaded guilty in court.

Mahmood, of Tenby Road, Moseley, Birmingham, who had armed himself with a large machete to steal £1,390 from the same betting shop six days earlier, was jailed for nine years in January.

Cpl Robinson, originally from Peterlee, County Durham, but now living in Solihull, is about to deploy to Afghanistan. His medal citation said he acted with "total disregard for his own safety", adding: "Robinson's individual actions were of the most conspicuous bravery."

Speaking to the media shortly after the incident, he said: "I just did what anybody else would have done. I guess I'm used to seeing guns and weapons, so I was able to realise the gun wasn't loaded."

A total of 140 servicemen and women, most of whom served with 16 Air Assault Brigade in Afghanistan between October last year and April, were named in the latest military honours list. They will be presented with their awards at a later date.


From Belfast Telegraph