‘We’re not heroes’ say brave Romford teens after tackling violent robber

Have a go hero's Sydnie Barnes, Sam Taylor and Ellie Noble

Have a go hero's Sydnie Barnes, Sam Taylor and Ellie Noble - Credit: Archant

Fearless youngsters tackled a violent thug as he robbed a 14-year-old girl in broad daylight – but said their act of bravery was “nothing special”.

Aivaras Dvaranauskas

Aivaras Dvaranauskas - Credit: Archant

Aivaras Dvaranauskas, of Straight Road, Harold Hill, was this week sentenced to five years in jail for the June 26 attack in Romford town centre.

He was also involved in the robbery of an 11-year-old boy at 3.50pm – just half-an-hour later – selling the phone stolen from him in the Western Road Cash Converters.

But have-a-go heroes Sam Taylor, 16, Ellie Noble, 15 and Sydnie Barnes, 16, didn’t think twice when they confronted 27-year-old Dvaranauskas and helped get the victim’s phone back.

The pupils of Marshalls Park School in Pettits Lane, Romford, even played down their actions, insisting they did what anyone else would have done.

Sam, who does karate, said: “We don’t feel like heroes – we feel like we did the right thing.

“It’s not anything special, it’s just being a nice person. I think he got a very good sentence.”

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And Sydnie said: “I could never just walk by. We did what we should do.”

Ellie added: “Hopefully it will put muggers off – to know children are going to stop you.”

The trio were alerted after hearing screams while walking the a subway near Mercury House. But they initially thought it was just a couple of friends play fighting.

“We saw this man hugging her and thought nothing of it,” said Ellie. “She started screaming for help – we thought it was a joke.”

But they soon realised it was serious, with Lithuanian-born Dvaranauskas viciously trying to rip the victim’s iPhone from her hand.

“It was just the first instinct, to run to help,” said Ellie. “I was shaking afterwards thinking ‘what if he had a knife?’”

Sam said: “He could have had a knife. We were so close to him, he could have got it out and stabbed us all.”

Ellie said she was disappointed other people had just walked past without stopping.

“They’re adults, but they left it to the 15-year-olds to step up.” she said.

Police would like an ex-pupil of Marshall’s Park, who also confronted Dvaranauskas, to come forward for recognition.