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Courage of a newsagent

There can only be enormous admiration for the 78-year-old Belfast city centre newsagent who forced three would-be robbers to flee by producing a hatchet from behind his counter.

A court heard yesterday that the shopkeeper had been confronted by one man armed with what he believed was a knife as two others stood guard at the door of the business.

He was said to have acted with `considerable bravery' by a judge who jailed all three perpetrators, who had a string of previous convictions, for 27 months each.

The words of praise were fully merited but there will also be a strong feeling that some form of civic recognition for the victim would also be well deserved.

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