Three local men have received Police Public Bravery Awards (PPBA) from the Police for detaining a man following a robbery at an off licence.
The Police Public Bravery Awards were created in 1965 by members of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) who wished to recognise outstanding cases of assistance given to the police by members of the public in the maintenance of law and order.
The award recognises outstanding acts of bravery or meritorious devotion to civic duty, in support of the police, and thereby contributing to the maintenance of law and order.
On the evening of Friday 13th January 2017 a men entered Bargain Booze off licence on Lugsmore Lane. At the time a female shop assistant, and her daughter (who was undertaking work experience) , were alone in the shop .
The man, wearing a black mask, black clothing and black leather gloves was carrying a green holdall. The man moved behind the counter, demanding money and that the safe be opened. He took £50 cash from the tills which he placed in the holdall.
A female member of the public who had witnessed the offender enter the shop raised the alarm. Daniel O’Toole, 26, from Eccleston, left a nearby pub and went over to try and tackle the offender, who was about to leave the shop. As Daniel entered the store, the man produced a hammer from his rucksack, which Daniel immediately tried to wrestle from his grip.
Gordon Howard who had also been in the pub, arrived and tried to assist Daniel in restraining the man who now had the hammer raised over his head, attempting to hit them with it. While both men continued to struggle with the offender, Gordon was able to remove the holdall from his grip. Fortunately, the hammer fell to the floor; however, the offender managed to get away.
Another member of the public from the nearby pub, Brian Gorst, arrived and, along with Daniel, began to chase the offender. The pair eventually managed to successfully detain him after began wrestling him to the floor on a nearby street. As neither Daniel nor Brian had a mobile phone, they took him back to the shop where he was subsequently arrested.
The man pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a controlled class A drug. He was sentenced to three years and four months at Liverpool Crown Court.
Daniel has been awarded the PPBA Silver medal, with Brian and Gordon receiving PPBA Certificates.