A crusader named Battman who tackled an armed robber and helped get him off the streets has been given a £250 reward by a judge.
Grateful police who asked the hero his name as they led away the villain Steven Walton were told "It's Batman - but with two Ts and it's Cameron Battman".
Shop assistant Kelly Elvin was working there alone when she was suddenly confronted by Walton, 42, wearing dark clothing with his face covered and brandishing an axe in his right hand.
He said something about money, and as she stepped back he emptied the contents of the till £78.44 into a carrier bag and he told her to give him the cigarettes and tobacco. She handed over four pouches of tobacco worth £42.80.
She had been speaking to her 11 year-old daughter on her mobile phone, and Walton ordered her to hand it over but she refused. The child heard part of the robbery.
A customer walked into the store and Walton told him to get out before he left with his loot and rode off on his bicycle.
A short distance away in Stirling Street, Hartlepool, fabricator welder Cameron was getting into his car to go to work when Walton rode along holding the carrier bag which caught on his front wheel spilling coins onto the pavement.
Walton stood up and the axe fell from his jacket.
Cameron, 25, told the Mail: “As he approached me the axe dropped out of his coat and the carrier bag split on the floor.
“He picked the axe up and I thought he was going to attack me.
“I didn’t realise he had just robbed a shop. I disarmed him and kicked the axe away and held him on the floor.
“I spoke to the police and they said ‘can you keep hold of him’. They were only around the corner on their way to the shop he had just robbed.
“It’s not every day you get caught by Batman is it?”
It is not the first time that Cameron, a dad of two, has apprehended criminals as he previously worked as a security guard at the town’s Asda supermarket.
Speaking of the £250 reward, he added: “I’m very thankful for it but I didn’t expect anything.
“I would do the same again.”
Mr Perks said that the money and tobacco were recovered and Walton was wearing identical clothing to the robber. He had 35 convictions for 85 offences.
Walton told officers: “I'll do anything to go back to jail.
“Please can I have my hood up because I'm ashamed.”
Stephen Constantine, defending, said that Walton had little recollection of the robbery because he had taken Diazepam for sleeping difficulties.
Judge Peter Armstrong rewarded Cameron £250 out of public funds “for his bravery and public spiritedness in apprehending the defendant”.
Walton, of Furness Street, Hartlepool, admitted robbery and was jailed for 40 months.
The judge ordered that the axe should be destroyed.