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Bury pub landlord catches Lee Rigby collection box thief

Stewart Spensley
Stewart Spensley helps to raise money for the Lee Rigby Foundation

A thief who tried to steal a Lee Rigby Foundation charity box from a pub was caught by the landlord – one of the soldier’s former comrades.

Stewart Spensley, landlord of The Two Tubs in Bury, gave chase after the donation box was taken from the bar.

Fusilier Rigby was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in south-east London in May 2013 in a terror-related attack.

Mr Spensley, 42, who served three tours of Afghanistan, said: “I was not going to let it go.”

Lee Rigby

Lee Rigby was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in south-east London in May 2013

“I ran out the building, saw him and chased him down,” he said.

“When I got to him he dropped the box and started making threats so I restrained him until the police arrived.

“I think most people – if somebody’s nicking from charity – if they could, they’d put a stop to it.”

Stewart Spensley

Stewart Spensley served alongside Fusilier Rigby in Cyprus

Mr Spensley helps to raise money for the Lee Rigby Foundation, set up by Fusilier Rigby’s family to support military families.

He served alongside Fusilier Rigby in Cyprus and said he had a knack for keeping up morale.

He said: “As soon as he walked in a room you knew he was going to say something or do something that would just have everyone laughing.”

collection box
The landlord gave chase after the donation box was taken from the bar

The pub in Bury town centre is a well-known military pub.

As well as the donation box they also give money from the jukebox to the foundation and provide free meals to the military once a week.