‘Rambo’ mother praised for punching thief who stole son’s watch

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A determined Sheffield mother who tracked down the man who robbed her son and punched him ‘squarely to the jaw’ has been praised by a judge.

Amanda Marsh, now nicknamed ‘Rambo’ by her friends, helped bring the robber to justice after he stole her son’s watch.

Patrick Venables, 21, was robbed of his Apple Watch in the eCloud shop in Wadsley Bridge, and police told her they would be out to take a statement within ten days. But his mother, a former security guard, was not prepared to wait for a police visit. The 42-year-old said: “I thought I’m not having this. He’s my only son, and we’ve both worked hard all of our lives and it’s not right that someone should just rob him of his watch like that.”

Drug addict Ashley Hobson, 35, had struck up a conversation with Patrick before stealing his watch, injuring Patrick’s arm in the process. Within half an hour after the robbery took place on September 25 Hobson 
attempted to sell the watch to Amanda’s neighbours.

Ms Marsh was tipped off and she began to follow him to a Sheffield chemist in Southey Green Road, Wadsley Bridge, and confronted him.

She said: “He said he wouldn’t give it me it back, so I saw red and just punched him. I got the watch back from him, the chemist locked him in the shop, and me out of it. I phoned the police and said: ‘I’ve got him’.

“I’d got him arrested and the watch back within an hour of the robbery taking place.”

Hobson of Holgate Road, Parson Cross, was arrested on suspicion of robbery. The drug addict, who has a criminal record of 119 offences from 89 convictions, admitted the robbery and was jailed for 16 months following hearing at Sheffield Crown Court.

Presiding judge, Recorder Christopher Knox praised Amanda for the ‘determination’ she showed in bringing Hobson to justice. He said: “Her actions were incredibly public-spirited and praiseworthy.”

After the hearing, Ms Marsh added: “Patrick thought it was great, and so did everyone else round here. They’ve started calling me Rocky and Rambo. When I was a security guard I had to deal with all sorts so I wasn’t afraid of him.”