Jewellery shop owner reveals how he disarmed man swinging an axe in Ramsgate town centre

HEROIC: Simon Johnson

A Ramsgate jewellery shop owner risked his own life to disarm a man with an axe who had terrified shoppers in the town centre.

Simon Johnson, who runs The Gold and Silver Mine in Harbour Street, stepped into action last Wednesday (April 17) after being told of the commotion by a fellow trader.

The 52-year-old, from Manston, said: “He told me there was a guy walking around the streets, waving an axe around and a lot of people were distressed.

“I looked out and could see people at the bottom of the street looking round, on their phones to, I think, the police, or just getting out of the way.

“So, I went out and my friend Adrian (Chang) came with me as I wanted a witness, and I saw this girl screaming and shouting that the man had an axe.”

Simon and Adrian (pictured below) followed the man as he made his way up Madeira Walk   and then back through to La Belle Alliance.

Simon said: “He was swinging the axe to and fro. I picked up a steel bar from someone’s garden and put it behind my back so I could follow him until he was cornered.

“He went through the Camden Park and definitely seemed to want to intimidate people. Then we went along and down Artillery Road but there were still people about.”


Eventually the man turned into Brights Place and Simon  knew he would be able to corner him.

He said: “He was about half way down and I shouted to him to put down the axe. He said ‘mind your own business’ but I told him again to put it down and circled around him, getting Adrian to stand back so he could keep an eye on what was happening.

“He was backed into a corner and I pulled the steel bar out and told him to drop the axe so I could take it away. He waved it in the air so I lifted the bar up and that’s when he decided to drop it. I put the steel bar up against his chest and then picked up the axe.”

At this point police were on the scene and arrested the man.

‘He needed to be stopped’

Simon got a severe telling off from his wife Linda but says it was something he felt he had to do, He said: “That axe was a good 16 inches long. If he lost control people could have been injured or even killed. He had to understand that he was not walking off anywhere with that axe, he needed to be stopped.”


Police arrested a 43-year-old man on suspicion of the possession of an offensive weapon.

The man, of no fixed address, received a caution for possessing an axe in a public place without good reason or lawful authority.

He has since been released.


  1. Hmmm . . I do not understand . . .

    I thought that carrying a knife in a public place was a serious offence for which there was a mandatory prison sentence – especially if used or displayed in a threatening and intimidating manner.

    However – it appears ok to be waving an axe about as is far less serious “cos you get let off with a caution. Let’s hope the miscreant does not maim or kill somebody next time eh ?

    I suppose Mr Johnson should consider himself lucky he did not get arrested for carrying an offensive weapon. I doubt Mr Johnson will bother wasting his time facing down someone waving an axe about next time he sees one – and who could name him ?

    Please accept my thanks and appreciation for what you did Mr J.

  2. I don’t think you can presume what a public spirited individual might or might not do in the future.
    This is the same event as the one in which someone posted a message on Facebook saying there was a man with an axe walking round town. When the poster was asked if she’d phoned the police, she asked “What’s the point?”
    The point is, if the police don’t know, they can’t do anything.

  3. Liberal judges, politicians and social workers are giving the thugs and scum the upper hand. It’s about time that the judges and solicitors who keep scum like this on the streets are then punished themselves when the scum they protect then reoffend. The criminal justice system is out of touch with public opinion and needs reorganising, the vast majority of the public want scum like this locked up for years not given a pathetic police caution that means nothing.
    Until the liberals in the criminal justice system who believe that every criminal is a result of the system are replaced by real people, the criminals and scum will continue to commit crimes and make ordinary people afraid to go out at night.

  4. I totally agree with comments made by ‘Concerned’. Our Justice system is so weak and ineffectual with the Police unwillingly to get involved. What a pathetic society we live in, commit a crime, seriously threaten innocent people and all you get is a ‘slap on the wrist’.

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