Former soldier disarms gun wielding robber in Wiltshire shop

This is the incredible moment a former soldier disarmed a robber during a raid in a corner shop - and pointed the gun at his head.

Brave Antony Wolfe, 61, says his military training 'kicked in' as he wrestled James Gowland, 31, who was attempting to steal cash from a till while wielding the firearm.

Antony, a retired teacher and ex-soldier, was alerted by neighbours in Stratton, Wiltshire to the armed robbery and ran straight into the shop to take on the gunmen.

Anthony relieved Gowland of his weapon before pointing it at his head and asking: "If I pulled this will it blow your head off?"


Anthony was assisted by daughter Hannah and a group of locals, whose actions were described as "breathtaking" by Judge Robert Pawson at Swindon Crown Court.

Retired teacher Antony told the Swindon Advertiser: "He pointed the gun at us. I charged forward, took the gun with both hands, twisted it and took it off him. We crashed into sweets and chocolate shelves which fell over.

"The shopkeeper was stuck in corner behind the counter - he was trapped by the robber who was about to leave the shop when we arrived."

Anthony completed basic army training at the age of 18 before becoming a teacher, but his recollection of combat drills from more than 40 years ago triggered his heroic reaction after he received a distress call from terrified shopkeeper Jegan Kandaswamy.

Dad-of-two Anthony added: "We had him pinned on the ground for seven minutes while waiting for police but it felt like forever.

Gowland pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.

Swindon Crown Court heard he was in debt with drug dealers and suffered with depression after a number of bereavements. He was jailed for two years and 10 months with Judge Pawson saying: "You produced an imitation firearm to threaten harm. Mr Kandaswamy described himself as petrified.

"Set against that you have expressed remorse, written a letter to Mr Kandaswamy. You were apologetic almost immediately."

The neighbours who came to the shop owner's aid should be rewarded out of public funds, the judge added, including £500 for Anthony.

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