A young woman has been speaking for the first time about how she helped catch Melton’s most wanted criminal.
Maddison Ashton (21) was working in the Mercury News shop in Sherrard Street when Neil Gordon came in to apparently buy some tobacco.
He suddenly turned and ran off with the tobacco without paying and brave Maddison gave chase.
At that stage she didn’t know Gordon was the man who had robbed a Melton store and tried to rob another while armed with an axe just three days before.
“I noticed before he came to the counter he was acting jittery and looking around at the CCTV cameras and then as he pulled out his card to pay he suddenly ran off with the tobacco,” said Maddison, who had just come on shift at 10am on the Saturday morning of March 4.
“He ran down the passageway between Londis and William Hill in Sherrard Street and I got pretty close to him.
“I was thinking how I could stop him because he was a lot bigger than me.
“I was shouting ‘stop that man’ and another gentleman suddenly appeared and rugby tackled him to the ground,” she told the Melton Times.
Two other men then helped hold Gordon down while they waited for the police to arrive. He head-butted the man who had initially brought him down.
Police officers arrived 30 minutes later and arrested him.
Maddison, a former pupil at St Mary’s Primary School and John Ferneley College, recalled: “He was screaming and swearing and putting up a real fight.
“He also threatened me as he was taken away, saying ‘I know your face’ and ‘I know where you live’.”
Maddison added: “Since I found out who he was I have wondered what would have happened if I had cornered him because he is clearly a violent man.
“I am proud that I helped with his arrest and I hope the people he robbed get justice when he is sentenced.”
Gordon pleaded guilty to robbing Craven Street Stores and attempting to rob the One Stop Shop, in Grange Drive, when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Monday.
He also admitted having a bladed weapon, namely an axe, in his possession on both occasions.
A judge will sentence him on October 6 after reports have been compiled about his background.