A have-a-go hero who foiled an attempted robbery at a Wellingborough shop says he was just “in the right place at the right time”.
Paul Oakins popped into the Ramco store in Northampton Road on Monday, February 1, to buy a pint a milk.
I guess I’m used to having people pointing knives at me!Paul Oakins
Two youths brandishing knives entered the store and threatened staff but soon scarpered when Paul – who is 6ft 6in – fronted up to them.
He said: “I was staying at my girlfriend Celine’s and only went down there for a pint of milk.
“There was a commotion in the corner of the shop and I saw what I thought was a guy waving a gun, but it turned out they both had 8in to 10in knives.
“I stood there and thought ‘what am I going to do?’ and it felt like ages, but it was probably only about 10 seconds.
“I went to confront them and one of them leaned towards me but I’m 6ft 6in so I think he thought better of it.
“He turned around and ran into his accomplice and knocked him over.
“If it wasn’t a robbery it would have almost been funny.”
Not only did Paul prevent the robbery, but he also came to the aid of a terrified worker who was working her first shift at the shop.
He added: “It’s not something I’m going to lose sleep over but the girl behind the counter was terrified.
“She was very small and saw them coming on the CCTV but was so scared she couldn’t shout for help.
“Speaking to her afterwards I learned that it was her first day there.
“The main thing is that nobody got hurt and nothing got stolen.
“It was random that I was there but it was a good thing or something bad could have happened.”
Paul, from Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, is the manager of Bedfordshire County Cricket Club’s first team and came through a liver transplant operation last year after being given just a five per cent chance of survival.
He says being branded a hero is a tad embarrassing.
He said: “It was just a case of being in the right place at the right time, I couldn’t just walk out.
“It’s a bit embarrassing being called a hero, it’s just one of those things.
“I had a transplant last year but it was very nearly too late.
“I guess I’m used to having people pointing knives at me!”