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Hero security guard steps in as samurai sword-wielding robber strikes

PUBLISHED: 19:37 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 19:37 15 March 2019

Mr Sampson entered the Tesco Express store wielding a samurai sword on January 5. Pictures: GOOGLE MAPS

Mr Sampson entered the Tesco Express store wielding a samurai sword on January 5. Pictures: GOOGLE MAPS

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A brave security guard has described how he protected customers and colleagues from a robber armed with a samurai sword at a Tesco store in Essex.

Clacton resident Donald Sampson was jailed for more than six years following the robbery of a Tesco store on St Osyth Road. Pictures: ESSEX POLICEClacton resident Donald Sampson was jailed for more than six years following the robbery of a Tesco store on St Osyth Road. Pictures: ESSEX POLICE

Nathan Minton said it was all in a day’s work after directing shoppers and staff members to safety when the man armed with the large blade entered the Clacton store on January 5.

Donald Sampson, 46, of Rosemary Road, Clacton, terrorised people at the branch in St Osyth Road, demanding staff open their tills and hand over cash.

“I heard the alarm raise and immediately ran to the scene where I saw the man emptying a till,” Mr Minton said.

“My first priority was to get customers out of the store to safety, and to get my colleague away from him.

“I jumped over the counter and that’s when he started to direct his anger towards me, he was clearly panicking.”

Sampson panicked as staff were unable to open more than one till, prompting him to demand they handed over cigarettes instead.

Despite his own fear, Mr Minton was able to keep his composure, saying: “Of course I was scared, but my main focus is the safety of customers and colleagues and I knew I had a job to do.

“Priorities take over and you know that you need to act quickly.”

Following the robbery Sampson was seen walking down the street by police officers, having just given false information to three police community support officers in a bid to throw them off his trail.

The officers searched him and found a large amount of cash and packets of cigarette on his possession.

Sampson pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article at Chelmsford Crown Court on February 15, and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.

In court, Mr Minton was recognised for his bravery and awarded £500 for his efforts.

Sentencing, Judge Patricia Lynch QC said of Mr Minton: “His actions were over and above that expected of a security guard in a shop, particularly when the weapon were dealing with was quite so fearsome as a machete.”

Mr Minton said: “It’s nice to be rewarded by the courts, but in reality I was only doing my job - but I do think it’s a good thing for them to give back to members of the public who do good.”

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