Martham have-a-go hero proves his bravery twice

A Norfolk man has picked up a taste for crime-fighting after being awarded a judge's prize for foiling an attempted theft at a jewellery shop.

Keith Manning, 56, from Martham, near Great Yarmouth, was praised by Judge Paul Downes at Norwich Crown Court earlier this year, after hearing how he had chased and caught a man attempting to steal gold bracelets from a Yarmouth jewellery shop in September last year.

The judge awarded Mr Manning �300 for his bravery and the father-of-one picked up the award from the county's high sheriff, Georgina Holloway, yesterday .

The ceremony was also told about another act of bravery carried out by Mr Manning at the other end of the county, in Thetford, in December last year.

On that occasion, Mr Manning went to the aid of an elderly woman who was being mugged.


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He chased after her attacker and with the aid of other people in the area, the mugger was caught and later brought to court.

Mr Manning yesterday played down his heroics, and said: 'Both times I only did what I expect any other member of the public would have done in the same situation. It was just a spur of the moment thing.

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'In a way it's a tribute to the way my mum and dad brought me up. They gave me the correct values in life.'

Mr Manning, who works as a site supervisor for Trowse-based May Gurney, said last September's incident took place at Page's jewellers in Regent Road, Yarmouth.

Mr Manning said: 'My wife Anita and I took my parents to the jewellers to get my mother a ring for their 60th wedding anniversary.

'On entering I noticed this character who was hovering by the door. He was trying to usher us away from the door to keep the space for himself. He was trying on these heavy solid gold bracelets. The next thing I knew he went past me, still wearing two of the bracelets.

'I spun around and went after him. I grabbed him and dragged him back into the shop where a shop assistant helped me. We detained him until the police arrived.'

Mr Manning said that the thief, from Leicester, who had also committed other offences, was given an 18-month suspended sentence at Norwich Crown Court earlier this year.

Last December, Mr Manning also chased a man who was mugging an old lady in Thetford Market Place. With help from others in the area this man was also caught and later jailed for 14 months at court, and the victim got her handbag back.

Presenting the judges' and her own certificate for bravery to Mr Manning, Mrs Holloway told him: 'If there were more people like you in Norfolk, it would be a safer place.'

Mr Manning has split the �300 award equally between the Riverview day centre and Mildred Stone House, both in Gorleston, where his father Sam Manning was cared for before he died.

Do you know someone who has picked up an award for bravery? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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