A MOTORIST who jumped from his car to tackle a man who was pointing a pistol at a teenage girl has been hailed a hero by the girl’s mother.

Passing motorist Philip Boaz saw the gunman, Ben Mawhood, pointing the weapon in the face of the 16-year-old when she refused to let him borrow her mobile phone.

Mawhood, 24, was jailed for three years for possessing an imitation firearm with intent to make others fear violence, and possessing two knives in public, as reported in The Press last week.

When Mr Boaz spotted Mawhood terrorising the girl, he jumped out of his car and disarmed him.

The girl’s mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the young victim, has now praised his bravery.

She said her daughter had been severely traumatised by the incident, which happened last May in Eboracum Way, off Foss Islands Road, in York.

Mr Boaz, 57, of Hull Road, who is a carer for his daughter who has learning difficulties, said: “I’d like to think somebody else would do the same for my wife or children.

“I thought it was an imitation gun, but I wasn’t sure. He had his back to me, so I ran across the road and pinned him across the railings while I got the gun out of his hand.”

The girl’s mother said: “He was potentially putting his own life at risk and I just think he’s a bit of a York hero.

“It’s nice to know there are still some have-a-go heroes out there and as a family, we would like to publicly say thank you to him.

“My daughter is so grateful.

“She’s been quite traumatised by what happened. At the time she was absolutely petrified.

“For a while afterwards she had to go to college in a taxi because she was scared to leave the flat on her own every morning and pass the spot where it happened.

“There is so much bad in the world, so it’s nice to say thank you to somebody who has done something good.”