Douglas Gill, who trades in Stockport, Manchester, as 'Doug 'n Di's', has three times faced armed robbers in the last 16 years. The first time he chased the guy off, the second time - when faced with two armed robbers - he pushed the claxon-style alarm and they shot off. The third time, earlier this month, he recognised the masked raider pointing a gun at his chest as a local. He pushed the panic button and the youth fled. The police recognised the description, quickly arrested the culprit and he went to trial within days.
So far, all so good. Brave retailer, quick action and crook caught. But good grief. The sentence. He got three months' curfew, 12 months' rehabilitation and, oh yes, his gun was confiscated.
"I was stunned by the sentence," says Douglas. "Even Granada TV took up the story. This is no deterrent and does nothing to give protection to us retailers."