Nottinghamshire Police have commended a taxi driver for his bravery after two armed robbers he tackled at a Warsop petrol station were jailed for a combined ten years six months.

Otis Kirby, 20, was locked up for five years and three months after pleading guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on 12 September 2017.

Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday October 9, Richard Dowdall, 27, was also jailed for five years and three months after pleading guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article.

The court heard that Kirby and Dowdall, both wearing face coverings, entered the Castelle Service Station on Sherwood Street at 7.20am on 5 August 2017.

Kirby, of Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield, was brandishing a firearm and Dowdall, of no fixed address, had a knife as they demanded money from the till.

The court heard that a taxi driver pulled onto the petrol station forecourt as the robbery was taking place. He decided to intervene and wrestled with the pair but they managed to escape and ran off.

As a result of the scuffle Kirby left behind a trainer, baseball cap and imitation firearm. Officers were able to forensically link Kirby to the robbery via DNA on the cap and trainer left at the scene.

Speaking after Dowdall’s sentencing detective sergeant Ricky Ellis said: “Although we’d never condone members of the public taking the law into their own hands and putting themselves in harm’s way, we commend the bravery shown by the community-minded taxi driver who confronted the robbers.

“As a result we were able to recover items from the scene which assisted with our swift arrests of Kirby and Dowdall.

“This was an extremely terrifying ordeal for the petrol station worker who was confronted by the men. We hope today’s sentencing provides some comfort and reassurance now that both Kirby and Dowdall are off the streets.”