Police award brave trio for foiling Battle robbery

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TWO shop workers who fought off two robbers during a raid on a Battle jewellers, and a passer-by who helped tackle one of the raiders to the floor, have been rewarded for their bravery by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in a national award ceremony.

In September 2010, bungling robbers Leon Holder and William Smith attempted to rob Friar House Antique Jewellery in the High Street.

Susan Jenner and Maria Swain were working at the shop when two men entered the store and smashed a display cabinet in the front of the shop which contained jewellery.

Ms Swain and Ms Jenner attempted to stop the two men and picked up metal poles, used to measure ring sizes, to try to force the men out of the shop.

As the thieves ran out into the street, Gary Lucas, who was passing by at the time, captured one of the robbers until police arrived.

Holder, 21, of Hawkhurst, was later jailed for seven years, whilst Smith, 31, of Golford, Kent, was jailed for six years.

As a result of the brave trio’s actions, all three were rewarded with certificates as part of the ACPO National Public Bravery Awards, which took place in Harrogate earlier this month.

Superintendent Neil Honnor said: “The brave actions of these members of the public helped Sussex Police capture and convict some dangerous robbers carrying out criminal activity in the county.

“I commend and thank them for the ways in which they helped to make Sussex a safer place.”

ACPO Honorary Awards Secretary, Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, said: “We are delighted to be honouring these individuals, who are of all ages and come from all walks of life.”

The two women, who found themselves the subject of national press attention following the robbery last year, did not attend the ceremony and did not wish to comment about their awards.