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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 May 2007, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Father pays tribute to shot son
Michael Mapleson
Michael Mapleson said his son had been "extremely brave"

A father has paid tribute to his son who was shot in the chest as he tried to stop an armed robbery.

Adam Mapleson, 24, has been hailed a hero for going to the aid of two guards who were being held at gunpoint by the men in Rayleigh, Essex.

His father, Michael, said Adam had been "extremely brave", adding that it had been a "terrible incident".

"We were not surprised to hear that he suffered these injuries as a result of trying to protect another," he said.

A 25,000 reward has been offered by security firm Loomis for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Police described the actions of the robbers on Friday as "despicable".

Detective Superintendent Michael Field, from British Transport Police, called them cowardly.

Adam Mapleson, who works in IT support, has regained consciousness after surgery at Southend Hospital.

Speaking to reporters, his father said: "Knowing Adam as we do, although we were shocked to discover he had been shot, we were not surprised he received his injuries as a result of trying to protect another.

"Adam is a loving son and brother with many friends."

Red dye

The guard and her male colleague were attacked as they loaded money into a cash machine at Rayleigh station, police said.

Robbery scene
Police believe two shots were fired during the robbery

The robbers are thought to have escaped with a box containing tens of thousands of pounds but security experts say red indelible dye could render them useless.

Mr Mapleson said he had been able to talk briefly to his son following surgery on Saturday.

"He is beginning to recover from his ordeal and we hope he will be able to talk to British Transport Police in the next couple of days.

"My son's actions were extremely brave. However I would urge anyone if they know who these men are not to approach and inform police immediately."

The raiders escaped in a Ford Escort after the raid. It was later found abandoned in Eastcheap, less than a mile away.

Parts of the raid were caught on CCTV, which detectives hope will help them identify the raiders.


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