Barking trader thwarts attempted robbery by man half his age

PC Paul Andrews with Ahmed Ejaz at his stall in Ripple Road at Barking market. Picture: MPS Barking

PC Paul Andrews with Ahmed Ejaz at his stall in Ripple Road at Barking market. Picture: MPS Barking and Dagenham. - Credit: Archant

A quick-thinking stallholder who pinned a robber to the ground has told of his relief after he was jailed.

Ahmed Ejaz – who suffers from angina – single-handedly brought down a man who was less than half his age when he tried to make off with his day’s takings.

He was working alone on his bedding stall at Barking market when Raimondas Jovaisis crept behind him and grabbed his bag containing £300 in cash.

When Ahmed, 56, refused to let go, the 26-year-old punched the side of his face. Despite being in pain, he managed to lock his arms around him and pull him to the ground.

“I held him on the floor,” Ahmed, who had £200 stolen from his Ripple Road stall just two months earlier, recalled. “He was trying to get up, he was screaming and swearing at me to let him go.”

Two police officers saw the commotion while they were on patrol and arrested Jovaisis.

The Plaistow resident pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at Snaresbrook Crown Court on September 30 and was jailed for three years.

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Dad-of-four Ahmed says he now finally has closure, months after the robbery took place on August 25 shortly after 5.30pm.

“I feel much better that he’s in jail – I don’t feel scared any more,” he admitted.

Ahmed, who lives in Adeliza Close, Barking, thanked Pcs Paul Andrews and Bradley Dunn for helping him during his moment of need.

“They were heroes,” he said. “Never in my life have I seen such good police officers.”

Pc Andrews said he was glad to have been of assistance.

“If we weren’t there it might have been a bit different,” he said. “If we’d come even ten minutes later he could have been seriously injured.”

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