Amanda Marsh was praised by a judge for bringing serial criminal Ashley Hobson to justice.
The former security guard tracked down Hobson, 35, just an hour after he stole her 21-year-old son’s watch – after police told her they would be out to take a statement within 10 days.
She said: “I thought I’m not having this. He’s my only son and it’s not right someone should just rob him of his watch like that.”
Amanda's son, Patrick Venables, 21, was robbed of his Apple Watch in the eCloud shop in Wadsley Bridge.
Police told her they would be out to take a statement within 10 days.
But his mum was not prepared to wait.
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 of the robbery on September 25 Hobson attempted to sell the watch to Amanda’s neighbours in Kyle Close.
Amanda was soon tipped-off and she began to follow him as he walked down to the Well Sheffield chemist in Southey Green Road, Wadsley Bridge.
When he entered the chemist, Amanda confronted him.
She said: “I went up to him and said: ‘That’s my son’s watch. I’ve seen the pictures, I know it’s you’.
“He said he wouldn’t give 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.”
Police arrived on the scene and Hobson of Holgate Road, Parson Cross, was arrested on suspicion of robbery.
The drug addict, who has an extensive criminal record – 119 offences in 89 convictions – admitted the robbery and was jailed for 16-months following a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday.
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. The court admires her determination to take you down and bring you to justice.”
Speaking after the hearing, Amanda 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.
“When you’ve worked all your life like I have, there are some things you just won’t put up with.”