Armed robber jailed after members of the public punch him in the face to stop him escaping

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

An armed robber has been jailed after he was stopped from escaping by members of the public who punched him in the face and sat on him.

Stephen Ball carried a baseball bat into a branch of Spar on Abbey Road in Lower Gornal, West Midlands, along with an accomplice armed with a machete to carry out a raid.

CCTV footage shows Ball, 31, jumping behind the counter of the story and emptying cigarettes into a bag.

His partner threatened stage and demanded to be taken to the warehouse area of the store before he fled in a waiting Range Rover.

Stephen Ball raided a shop in the West Midlands with an unknown accomplice (Police handout)

However, when Ball tried to flee he was stopped in his tracks when he tried to push it instead of pulling it.

As members of the public attempted to keep the door shut from the other side, Ball smashed the window with his baseball bat, showering those outside with glass.

Ball then smashed the window of a woman’s car as she sat in it outside the shop but before he could make a getaway, a member of the public punched him squarely in the face.

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The brave person then sat on Ball and waited until police arrived to arrest him following the incident at around 10pm on 23 October.

Ball, of Turner Street, Tipton, has now been jailed for five years after admitting robbery, criminal damage, assault, affray and possession of an offensive weapon.

DC Cal Sanders, from force CID, said: “Ball has received a substantial prison sentence for committing this offence, which had a level of violence.

Ball was punched in the face to stop him from escaping (Police handout)

“I wish to thank the brave members of the public who helped detain a violent offender until police arrived.

“This incident shook staff and members of the public alike and I hope that the sentence will go some way to easing their nerves.” 

The sentencing judge awarded £100 to three members of the public who helped detain Ball.

Ball’s accomplice in the robbery is still being traced.