Free Press superkids award winner bounces back after Doncaster town centre mugging shock

We told you he was brave!

By David Kessen
Wednesday, 05 June, 2019, 17:42

Former Doncaster Free Press superkids bravery award winner Sam Firbank was hit for six after being targeted by a mugger who stole his mobile phone

But today police have have presented the youngster from Doncaster town centre a commendation for bravery after the autistic youngster bounced back to report the incident and help them look for the man stole his property.

Superkids Courage award winner Sam Firbank, when he won his award in 2011. Picture: Liz Mockler D1357LM

Sam was mugged when he was out in Doncaster town centre with his mum, Alison Firbank, on April 4.

His mum’s phone had just rung, and Sam got his own phone out of his pocket. As he had it in his hand, he was hit in the back by someone and his phone was taken by them.

Alison said: “There was a man at a cashpoint nearby who saw it and tried to run after the thief, but he couldn’t catch him. It was good that someone was prepared to try to help.

“It knocked Sam’s confidence and for a while he suffered from nightmares.”

Sam Firbank with Supt Dan Thorpe at Doncaster Police Station. Sam presented officers with a cake he made, and the police handed him a commendation for his bravery.

“But the police have been really supportive throughout. They have checked up on his to make sure he was all right throughout.

“They have understood his autism. The first time they came round, he said he was tired, so they just introduced themselves and came round again another day instead.”

Sam said he felt proud of his award, and, as a keen baker, he baked a cake for the officers who had supported him after he was mugged, PCs Jamie Stewart, Sally Woodhall, and Ben Gill.

They also received commendations for the way they supported 14-year-old Sam and his family.

Pictured left to right at Doncaster Police Station are PC Sally Woodhall, Pc Ben Gill, Sam Firbank, and Pc Jamie Stewart

Pc Stewart said: “Sam has been amazing throughout. He thoroughly deserves his commendation.”

Officers have made an arrested in connection to the case.

Sam’s latest bravery award follows his Free Press award in 2011, when he was aged six. 

Sam was born prematurely and spent the first month of his life in the special baby care unit suffering from a cyst on his brain, severe head trauma and deafness in his left ear.

Sam Firbank, aged 14, with Supt Dan Thorpe at Doncaster Police Station. receiving a commendation for his bravery.

Then at the age of three he was diagnosed with development delay.

In 2008 a house fire at his family home saw him being rescued by the fire service and put into an induced coma.

Thankfully he came through but at the time he was discharged he was suffering from a severe ear infection which had resulted in several operations since he woke from the coma.

Our awards judges handed him the bravery award after they heard that despite being in a lot of pain he never moaned and had never fallen behind at school.