Hero taxi driver handed compo to repair dent left by robber's head on bonnet

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A hero taxi driver has been give a cash award to mend a dent on his bonnet left by the head of an armed robber during a struggle.

A judge praised the bravery of the man who stepped in when he realised a robbery was going down at the Castelle Service Station on Sherwood Street in Warsop.

Otis Kirby was jailed for five years and three months at Nottingham Crown Court for the robbery on Saturday, August 5, this year. And he received a concurrent sentence of two years for possessing an imitation firearm.

Judge Sarah Buckingham ordered the driver receive £500 of compensation from public funds.

She said: "He was not thinking of himself when he entered the shop."

Otis Kirby, who has been jailed for more than five years

Otis Kirby, who has been jailed for more than five years

The cash will help towards the repair cost to the man's bonnet as well as "marking his bravery and service to the community on that day," said the judge.

The court heard Kirby walked in to the shop and pointed the fake gun towards the tills after 7.20am.

He pushed the lone shop assistant with his free hand and threw an empty pillowcase at her to fill with money.

"She was shaking with fear," said Robby Singh, prosecuting.

"She put money in the pillowcase and pressed the panic alarm."

Kirby, who had an accomplice, ran out where he came face-to-face with the taxi driver who had already got his passenger to call police.

"He saw two masked men running towards him," added Mr Singh.

"He saw this defendant has a pistol pointing towards him. The driver grabbed the arm and the gun, because he was angry a gun was being pointed towards him. There was a scuffle outside."

Kirby's head was banged against his taxi, leaving the dent, but he still managed to escape.

Police still managed to trace him - from his DNA on a trainer and a baseball cap he lost in the struggle.

Kirky, 20, of Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield, started offending at the age of 12, said his barrister Steve Gosnell. His client now has 20 convictions for 38 offences.

He said of the robbery: "There was no excuse whatsoever for what he did.

"He is desperately sorry for what he has done."