Police award for man who disarmed robber

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 September 2011

Gavin Simpson who received a police award for bravery, Sophia Gardens, Worle with his sons Jacob and Finlay,

Gavin Simpson who received a police award for bravery, Sophia Gardens, Worle with his sons Jacob and Finlay,

Archant

A WESTON man who rugby-tackled an armed robber has been given an award by police for his bravery.

Gavin Simpson, aged 30, from Worle, apprehended a knife-wielding man wearing a balaclava in the doorway of Orchard News on Orchard Street in February.

His friend, Ray Monelle, who owns the newsagent, was wrestling with the robber outside the shop before Mr Simpson jumped out of his car and overpowered him.

The father of two was given the Waley Cohen Award last week for his heroics by High Sheriff of Somerset John Cullum.

Mr Simpson was sat in his car outside the newsagent when he saw a man wearing a balaclava go inside.

He was there because he was about to buy a two-person cow suit from a nearby costume shop for an event for his work as a shop-fitting manager.

“I could see Ray was in trouble and I didn’t even think about it,” he said.

The robber dropped his eight-inch knife and Mr Monelle called the police.

Mr Simpson’s children, four-year-old Jacob and six-year-old Finley were watching from his car.

“They’re a bit proud of me,” he said.

Mr Simpson’s wife of two years Lisa called him an idiot when he told her what had happened but that she was proud of him too.

He said: “I’m just more shocked than anything to think what could have happened.

“Not a lot was going through my mind. Just that Ray was in trouble and needed help.”

But he said it was nice to receive recognition for what he did and will hang his certificate on the wall.

Superintendent Julian Moss said: “Mr Simpson carried out these actions as a result of quick thinking and a strong desire to uphold the law, with no thought for his own safety and welfare.

“Waley Cohen awards are presented to members of the public who have demonstrated outstanding bravery.

“Mr Simpson without doubt showed great initiative and courage in his actions, which deserves recognition and we salute his bravery.”

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