Have-a-go hero uses army training to see off robbery

A former Israeli special forces soldier has been commended by a judge for coming to the aid of robbery victims in Hendon.

The 37-year-old, now living in London, works for a firm providing security to synagogues and Jewish schools. He reacted quickly when a 70-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman were attacked in Vivian Avenue in November as they withdrew money from a bank.

Alerted by the screams of the woman, who had been dragged across the ground by 20-year-old Khalid Bashier, the Israeli and two other men chased the assailant. He used techniques learned in the army to keep him pinned to the ground until police arrived. Another robber got away.

The ex-soldier - who wishes to remain anonymous - said that when he caught up with Bashier, "I held him down on the ground with my leg over his chest. I used krav maga, the combat system I had learnt in the army to defend yourself without using a weapon. It was my instinct. You learn in the army not to run away but to help."

I used krav maga, the combat system I learned

Recorder Kuldip Sing praised the witnesses and sentenced Bashier to three years in prison at Wood Green Crown Court last week.

DC Aileen Davies of Colindale CID said: "The violence of the robbers makes the bravery of the members of the public who detained Bashier all the more commendable."

    Last updated: 2:16pm, March 3 2011