TWO men have been commended by police for the courage they showed when they tackled a robber to the ground.

Glyn Phillips, 53, from Harwich and Brian Smith, 48, from Chelmsford have received cash rewards after they apprehended a man who robbed a post office, in Market Street, Harwich.

The robbery happened on July 5 when Mark Dove, 30, of Briardale Avenue, Dovercourt, came into the store with an object in a plastic bag and threatened staff before stealing cash from a till.

But Dove was unaware Mr Smith and Mr Philips had realised what was happening and they tackled him to the ground.

Despite Dove punching one of the men, he was detained by them until police arrived.

Dove was sentenced at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court to 20 months in prison for robbery and four months, to run concurrently, for assault on October 30.

He pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge and the magistrate issued £400 rewards to Mr Smith and Mr Phillips.

Tendring district commander chief inspector Paul Wells said: “I would like to thank Mr Smith and Mr Phillips for the courage and initiative they showed during this robbery, which must have been really frightening.

“They made the decision to put themselves in harm’s way and this resulted directly in a man being brought to justice and receiving a custodial sentence.

“It’s a heartening reminder of the good will and decency that characterises our communities and I hope it sends a message to the small minority who might commit violent crimes, that the rest of us don’t like it."

“Mr Smith and Mr Phillips selflessly put the safety of other people first and once again I thank them.”

Mr Smith was thanked in person by Mr Wells at Clacton police station on Friday, November 3.

He said: “I happened to be in the area when I suddenly saw a man walk into the post office wearing a mask. Mr Phillips was nearby and we waited outside, grabbed the man and held him until police arrived.

“I would like to thank Essex Police for all their support and the courts for their reward.”