Bravery award for hero who foiled 'armed bank robbery'
- 19 June 2014
- From the section London
A window cleaner who caught an armed bank robber has received an award in recognition of his bravery.
James Rowley, 34, was in Lloyd's Bank in Coulsdon, south London, in November last year, when Andrew Fernandez came in with an imitation gun.
CCTV footage showed him chasing the robber outside. He then held him until the police arrived.
Mr Rowley received the Police Public Bravery Award from the Association of Chief Police Officers.
He said: "When I saw him enter the bank waving the gun around, making demands I just acted on instinct. I thought that the gun wasn't real and therefore I knew I had to act.
"At the time I didn't think it was brave, I thought it was my duty to get involved. Ignoring it was not the answer.
"I told him to leave and then he tried to escape.
"I immediately thought 'no he is not going to get away with this', so chased him with the help of my friend, holding him down until the officers came along."
Fernanadez, 47, was jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to two counts of robbery and one of attempted robbery at Kingston Crown Court on Monday.
Mr Rowley, from Caterham, south London, has already received a commendation from the Metropolitan Police and was also given £1,200 from the Sheriff's Fund for his bravery.
Det Sgt David Barnfather, from the Met's Flying Squad, said: "The bravery of James Rowley was truly remarkable in confronting what was to all intents and purposes, an armed and extremely dangerous criminal.
"Mr Rowley's courage and sense of civic duty are to be applauded and thanks to him Fernandez is behind bars."