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Moment two builders grabbed and pinned down suspected Iraqi illegal immigrants as they jumped from the back of a lorry

  • Justin Slowley, 47, and Andy Collins, 28, were fitting new flats in Leigh, Essex
  • They heard a lorry driver yelling ‘danger, danger’ and saw two men flee vehicle
  • Builders then restrained the two men and stayed with them until police arrived
  • Men, believed to be from Iraq, will now be interviewed by immigration officials

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This is the moment two builders grabbed and pinned down a pair of suspected Iraqi illegal immigrants as they jumped from the back of a lorry.

Justin Slowley, 47, and Andy Collins, 28, were fitting out new flats in Leigh, Essex, when they overheard a lorry driver yelling ‘danger, danger’.

They rushed over to the vehicle, believing something had fallen out of the back, when they saw two men trying to flee from the van.

This is the moment two builders grabbed and pinned down a pair of suspected Iraqi illegal immigrants as they jumped from the back of a lorry

This is the moment two builders grabbed and pinned down a pair of suspected Iraqi illegal immigrants as they jumped from the back of a lorry

Andy Collins, 28, (left) and Justin Slowley, 47, (right) grabbed the two men as they tried to flee the scene in Leigh, Essex

Andy Collins, 28, (left) and Justin Slowley, 47, (right) grabbed the two men as they tried to flee the scene in Leigh, Essex

The builders then grabbed the pair and stayed with them until armed police arrived at the scene.

The two men, who apparently told the builders they were from Iraq, will now be interviewed by immigration officials.

Mr Collins said: ‘When the driver went to the back he was shouting “danger, danger” so we rushed over thinking one of the units was falling.

‘Instead two men were pushing their way out so I grabbed one of them and put him in a choke hold while Justin grabbed the other bloke.

‘We did feel sorry for them, they said they came from Iraq and must have been scared for their lives but they should have done things through the proper channels.’

He added: ‘There was a rock in the lorry which they could have used or a bottle of urine they could have thrown on us. We didn’t think, we acted.’

Mr Slowley said he grabbed one of the men and ‘held him up against the lorry’.

‘He was primed to leg it,’ he said. ‘I had him at his neck, by his jacket, and he undid the zip but we told them to sit down and wait for the police.

The builders grabbed the two men as they jumped from the lorry and stayed with them until armed police arrived at the scene (pictured)

The builders grabbed the two men as they jumped from the lorry and stayed with them until armed police arrived at the scene (pictured)

The two men, who apparently told the builders they were from Iraq, will now be interviewed by immigration officials. Police are pictured at the scene

The two men, who apparently told the builders they were from Iraq, will now be interviewed by immigration officials. Police are pictured at the scene

‘They looked quite young – maybe in their 20s. They were obviously prepared, they had sleeping bags, gloves and scarves.’

When police arrived, they asked the lorry driver to search through the vehicle to make sure no one else was inside.

Witness Cody Hamilton, who works in the Co-op opposite, saw armed police turn up at the scene.

She added: ‘It was really shocking.

We saw the police and armed police with guns putting the two men into the van but we couldn’t believe it.

‘Nothing like this has ever happened around here before, the action certainly brightened up our day.’

Leigh ward councillor, Bernard Arscott said: ‘It is not something you ever expect to happen in Leigh – it is the first instance i have heard of. They must have travelled a considerable distance.’

An Essex police spokesman said: ‘Officers attended. Two men have been detained.

Police have notified the Border Force.’

A spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘Immigration Enforcement was contacted by Essex Police.

‘Police arrested two men for suspected immigration offences and they will be interviewed by immigration officials.

‘Where someone has no right to remain in the UK, we will take action to remove them.’

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References

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