Dramatic video shows brave OAP tackle Accrington robber

Lancashire Telegraph: JAILED Kieran Devlin JAILED Kieran Devlin

THIS video shows the moment a 73-year-old faced a knife-wielding robber nearly 50 years his junior.

Petrol station worker Derek Greenwood stepped in when Kieran Devlin, 26, wearing a mask, burst into the Texaco service station in Dill Hall Lane, Church, waving a large blade.

Devlin was yesterday jailed for five years and CCTV showing the horror of the incident was released for the first time.

Mr Greenwood confronted Devlin when a girl behind the counter cried out. He said he acted ‘instinctively’ to protect a frightened colleague.

Burnley Crown Court heard that Devlin, who grabbed £130 from the till, dropped a bag before fleeing.

Detectives were then able to obtain fingerprints from the bag and Devlin, of Stanley Street, Accrington, was later traced and arrested.

Devlin, who admitted robbery, was today beginning a five year jail sentence after Judge Jonathan Wright was told he had a similar conviction, for a knifepoint robbery at a supermarket in 2006.

CCTV of the incident shows a hooded Devlin entering the service station brandishing a knife.

Mr Greenwood confronts Devlin who thrusts the knife in his direction, forcing him to back off.

Devlin then continues to brandish the knife as Mr Greenwood grabs a bottle of wine and chases him out of the shop.

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Speaking outside court, Mr Greenwood said: “I thought he could have got a bigger sentence really because what he did will stay with that girl for the rest of her life.”

But Mr Greenwood, who had worked at the garage for more than four years, was quick to downplay his bravery.

“I just acted out of instinct - anyone who was working there would have done the same really. You can’t just walk away when something like this happens,” he added.

Det Con Simon Challenger said: “There is no doubt if it hadn’t been for Derek’s actions, there is a chance we might not have arrested Devlin.

“You could see from the defendant’s behaviour in court, smirking and giggling in the dock, that he is someone who does not understand or care about the effect his criminal actions have on people.”

Earlier Silvia Dacre, prosecuting, said that Mr Greenwood did report having some sleepless nights, after the robbery, but was not suffering any long-term effects.

She told the court that Mr Greenwood did take a step back, when he saw the knife, and armed himself with the wine bottle.

Devlin was ‘waving the knife around’ but Mr Greenwood considered that this was more as a warning, than because he wanted to use the weapon.

Adrian Williams, defending, said his client had obtained qualifications, after he was last released from prison, and had secured work as a labourer.

But he was made redundant and was then targeted by drug dealers over a cannabis debt, he added.

Devlin had been physically threatened on the day of the robbery, on June 30, and he had taken a knife from his home to carry out the raid, the court heard.

Passing sentence Judge Jonathan Gibson said: “These people were only trying to do their job, in a small petrol station, and were plainly vulnerable.”

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