Sam's the hero as mugger is jailed

By Chris Willmott 09/02 Updated: 15/02 14:04

Buy photos » Sam Woodward showed the Bulldog spirit his dog Chester would be proud of when he tackled a mugger. Picture by Neville Collins.

HERO Sam Woodward is the talk of the town after he rugby tackled and pinned down a mugger who had just robbed an elderly woman's handbag.

The 33-year-old site manager was sitting in his van while on a job in Leicester in July last year when he saw violent thug Benjamin Brown shove the 82-year-old to the floor and run off with her bag.

Without a thought for his own safety the 6' 3" former doorman from Sheldon jumped out of his van and rugby tackled the robber, pinning him to the ground for ten minutes until the police arrived.

Brown, 31, was jailed for five years after admitting the July 2011 robbery and a string of other offences at Leicester Crown court last week.

His previous convictions included stealing three medals worth £600 from a war memorabilia stall in Loughborough.

"What he did was disgraceful and I'm glad he's been locked up," former Langley School pupil Sam told The Observer.

"I hate people who think it is okay to prey on vulnerable people without a thought for what it may do to them."

Sam told the paper that he didn't think he was brave or a hero - but that he was just doing what he would hope anyone would do if his mum was being mugged.

"There wasn't time to think about whether or not he had a weapon or what he might do to me," he added.

"I just jumped out of the van, pinned him down and handed him over to the police.

"I would hope that anyone reading this would do the same to help a vulnerable old lady in need - because it would be a sad reflection on society if they wouldn't."

The victim, who has remained anonymous, was left shocked and shaken by the incident and when Sam visited her soon after the ordeal she had been to upset and scared to venture out of her house.

"It's not just the crimes like this that are despicable, but the long-term effects they have on their victims," added Sam.

"Often crimes against vulnerable elderly people can result in them losing their independence and being frightened to ever go out again and these hateful people should be ashamed of themselves and made to pay."

Since the story of Sam's heroics broke last week he has been in several national newspapers, appeared on Radio WM and has also been nominated for a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award.

He has also been the talk of the town with everyone he knows - in particular his mum - beaming with pride about his actions.

"Mum has got all the press clippings and photos on her wall and all the lads at the rugby clubs I play for have been giving me banter about it all week," Sam added.

"They have even had t-shirts made up taking the mickey out of me - it's been great fun."

And just incase the last week hadn't been enough of a whirlwind the dad-of-two was given the great news on Thursday that his partner Kimberley is expecting another baby.

"To say it's been a busy and mind-blowing week is an understatement."

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