December 9 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, August 18, 2013
A retired businessman who helped foil an armed raid is featuring in a national television programme on the great British public fighting back against the criminals.
Michael Graver, 72, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, will appear on BBC One on Monday at 8.30pm in Fightback Britain, which is presented by Julia Bradbury and Adrian Simpson.
Mr Graver was propelled into the limelight for confronting an armed gang who pulled up on scooters at Thurlow Champness jewellers in Abbeygate Street, Bury, in February 2011.
The grandfather, who had been shopping with his wife Penny, even managed to snatch a bag containing watches worth £22,000 from a raider holding a sledgehammer.
Judge David Goodin, who sentenced the gang responsible for a total of 36 years in jail, paid tribute to Mr Graver’s “commendable fortitude and bravery” and awarded £500 to him from the public purse.
Mr Graver said he was surprised with the amount of attention he was still receiving over his role in bringing the gang to justice, adding he hoped he would now be able to enjoy the quiet life.
“It happened over two years ago. Then there was the trial and that all brought it back to life again and then it went quiet and we thought it was all finished and suddenly it’s all come back to life once more. We hope this is the last time.”
Mr Graver said he was filmed in April, but the exact contents of Monday’s show would be a “bit of a surprise” for him.
On whether he would react in the same way if faced with another raid, he said: “Both Penny and I were right in the middle of it and it was happening all around us.
“I think if that came up again and we were right in it, yes, definitely. I think in particular because there wasn’t time to think. If it’s a situation where you are some distance away and you can think about it beforehand people don’t just rush in.”
He added: “There was no getting out of it. I just had to do it.”
Yet Mr Graver certainly does not see himself as a hero, but as someone who “happened to be there at the time and happened to get a good result”.
Mr Graver, who turns 73 tomorrow, added: “I’m not looking for any more adventures.”