Hairdresser who tackled robber after he stole takings wins praise from judge

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A judge has praised the courage of a hairdresser who tackled a criminal after he snatched the takings from her premises.

Carol Marley, who had been cutting a customer’s hair, grabbed convicted robber Darren Fellows in a bear hug after he carried out the raid at the Talking Heads salon on Great Horton Road, Bradford, in January.

The city’s crown court heard yesterday that Fellows, 33, told the mother: “Get off me or I’ll stab you.”

Despite the threat Mrs Marley continued to struggle with the intruder and they eventually fell into a glass cabinet near the counter.

Prosecutor Clare Benson said Fellows had snatched the money tray from the till and during the struggle grabbed an estimated £100 in takings before he fled the premises. The court heard that the complainant’s daughter gave chase, but eventually lost sight of Fellows. Mrs Marley suffered a small cut to one of her fingers but was later able to pick out Fellows during an identification procedure.

Miss Benson said Fellows, formerly of Daisy Street, Bradford, had almost 50 convictions on his record for 113 offences. He committed his last robbery offence in 2003 and was jailed then for five-and-a-half years.

Fellows pleaded guilty to a robbery charge in relation to the attack on the hair salon when his case was listed for a trial at Bradford Crown Court yesterday and Judge Colin Burn jailed him again for two years. The judge said Mrs Marley had shown admirable courage in trying to stop the theft of her takings.

“If she had known that you had served such a lengthy sentence for robbery on a previous occasion she would probably have been more frightened than she was by your threat to stab her,” the judge told Fellows.

Lawyer Ian Hudson, for Fellows, said he was remorseful for the offence.