A brave customer rushed to a shopkeeper’s defence after he was attacked by a robber with a hammer who was stopped by a crowd of bystanders as he tried to flee.

Omari Blackburn, 30, of Stratford Road,  was jailed for three years after admitting attempted robbery, assault occasioning ABH and having an offensive weapon.

The court heard on Sunday July 29, at 7.15pm Blackburn entered an off-licence on London Road, armed with a hammer that was hidden under his jumper. 

He walked behind the counter holding the hammer above his head and threatened the shop worker, a 50-year-old man, demanding he remove money from the till. The shop worker refused and a scuffle took place with Blackburn hitting the victim over the head. 

A customer who had been at the back of the store when Blackburn walked in came to the victim’s aid and helped him to remove Blackburn from the shop.

Once outside, other members of the public kept Blackburn there until police arrived a few minutes later.

The victim suffered bumps and bruising to his head along with a laceration that required four stitches.

Detective Constable Kathlyn Stanley-Quist, from Croydon CID said: “I would like to take this opportunity to praise both him and the members of the public who did not look the other way but instead came to the victim’s aid and apprehended Blackburn to stop him from escaping.”