Armed Robber Jailed After Have-A-Go Hero Sits On Him Until Police Arrive

27 November 2017, 13:04 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:21

A bungling robber has been jailed for five years after being detained by brave members of the public, one of whom sat on the assailant until police arrived.

Stephen Ball, 31, was armed with a baseball bat when he and an accomplice, who was carrying a machete, stormed into Spar Lower Gornal, West Midlands.

Staff were threatened with the weapons and the raiders demanded to be taken to the warehouse area.

CCTV shows Ball behind the cashier desk emptying cigarettes and tobacco into a bag.

His accomplice fled with cash, but dropped it because it was too heavy. Police say he got away in a waiting Rover and is yet to be traced.

Ball, of Turner Street, Tipton, realised he had been left in the store on his own and attempted to open the door.

However, his plot was foiled when brave passers-by tired to keep the door shut from the other side.

The 31-year-old then used his baseball bat to smash down the door, showering one man with glass and forcing others to back off.

He managed to escape from the shop before smashing the window of a woman’s car as she sat in it outside the shop, leaving her with cuts to her head.

Stephen Ball, 31, has been jailed for five years
Stephen Ball, 31, has been jailed for five years. Picture: West Midlands

Another member of the public arrived and punched Ball in the face and then sat on him until police arrived and arrested him, at around 10pm on 23 October.

He was jailed for five years on Wednesday, 22 November, 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.

“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.