A HAVE-A-GO hero who disarmed a robber during a raid on a Swindon corner shop says his “basic military training kicked in” as he wrestled the gunman to the ground.

Former soldier Anthony Wolfe, 61, was alerted by neighbours to the raid on Ermin Food & Wine in Stratton on January 20.

Hooded James Gowland, 31, was attempting to steal cash from a till while wielding the firearm. 
As reported in today’s Adver, brave Anthony managed to wrest the weapon from Gowland before pointing it at his head and asking: "If I pulled this will it blow your head off?"

Anthony was assisted by daughter Hannah and a group of locals, whose actions were described as “breathtaking” by Judge Robert Pawson.

Retired teacher Antony recalled: “He pointed the gun at us. I charged forward, took the gun with both hands, twisted it and took it off him.

"I couldn't get him to the ground and we crashed into sweets and chocolate shelves which fell over.

"I thought 'It's far better that an idiot doesn't have a gun and that I have it'.

"I wasn't sure whether it was loaded. At that point I had in in my hand - it was heavy and I hadn't got a clue whether it was real or not.

"The shopkeeper was stuck in corner behind the counter - he was trapped by the robber who was about to leave the shop when we arrived."

Anthony completed basic training in the army as an 18-year-old and later pursued a career as a secondary school teacher.

He said a memory of combat training drills more than 40 years ago prompted his heroic reaction.

He had been enjoying a relaxing Sunday morning renovating his home before he received a distress call and headed to the tiny corner shop, where terrified shopkeeper Jegan Kandaswamy was being threatened by Gowland.

Dad-of-two Anthony said: "I was in the army for a year when I was 18 and completed basic training.

"It's amazing to think that it kicked in to help me in the moment.

"We had him pinned on the ground for seven minutes while waiting for police but it felt like forever.

"He was struggling at the start but we managed to suppress him."

Gowland, of Twickenham Close, pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.

Swindon Crown Court heard he was in debt with drug dealers and suffered with depression after a number of bereavements.