Thursday, December 21, 2006

Handbag arrest

A woman who helped to detain a fleeing criminal in Worcester while armed only with her handbag has spoken about her actions.

Avril James was one of three women who went for Joshua Bough as he fled from several police officers last week. The shop worker said the adrenaline meant she did not fear for her safety.

Police have praised her for helping to stop Bough, 23, who was later convicted of assaulting a police officer and possessing an offensive weapon.

Bough, from Worcester, had managed to evade 21 police officers in a six-minute chase through the city on 14 December.

Mrs James was one of three women who managed to slow him down as he ran across Worcester Bridge.

A van driver then grabbed hold of the man and officers were able to arrest him.

Mrs James, who works at Ogle's chemist in the St John's area of the city, said: "I thought, you're not going to get away with that, I'm going to do whatever I can to stop you."

Asked about the threat to her safety, she said: "I never thought about it. I think the adrenaline was going.I thought he must have done something wrong to have so many police officers running after him.The girls here are taking the Mickey about me. They're calling me all the police names that you can think of but, at the end of the day, I thought if someone's a villain, they should be caught."

There was an outstanding warrant for Bough's arrest in connection with a charge of assaulting a police officer and possessing an offensive weapon.

Bough was convicted of both offences on 15 December and was fined £50 on each count.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said: "The three women did not know each other and were walking over the bridge some distance apart when they each realised, in the space of a few seconds, that a man was being pursued and was heading straight for them along the pavement.

"Although we have concerns for the consequences of their actions, we fully endorse them and applaud their courage."

Police are appealing for the other two women to come forward so they can thank them for their actions.

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