- Woman reported man's suspicious behaviour after spotting him prowling the aisles with a camera
- Two weeks later, she saw him again and begged security to confiscate his phone
- When they refused, she followed him out of the store and detained him until police arrived
- Pervert jailed for two years after police investigation reveals numerous offences against children
A shopper who suspected a man had been taking indecent photographs of children in a supermarket pounced on him herself - because the store's security staff refused to help.
Jane Gothard, 47, followed Mohamad Hatef out of the store and detained him while she waited for police to arrive at the scene - despite security guards refusing to get involved.
Her brave actions resulted in Mohamad Hatef being jailed for two years after police launched an investigation that revealed numerous offences against children.
Brave: Jane Gothard was commended by police and was awarded £500 by a judge after her action led to Hatef being jailed
This week, Mrs Gothard was commended by the police and she was awarded a £500 bravery reward by the judge who jailed Hatef.
Mrs Gothard had reported Hatef to police and store security when she spotted him prowling the aisles of a Sainsbury’s with a camera in hand, according to Hampshire Constabulary.
Two weeks later she saw him again, immediately took his photo and begged security staff for help.
When they refused, she followed Hatef out of the store and detained him herself before persuading him to return to the store, in Alton, Hampshire.
Police were called and as Mrs Gothard waited, she noticed he was destroying phone memory cards.
Once again, she tried to get security guards to help but they refused, police said. Instead, she was ejected from the store.
Sainsbury's has denied that Mrs Gothard was ejected from the store. However, a spokesman admitted security guards refused to interject - because they were not authorised to confiscate the man's phone - and instead called police.
When officers arrived, Mrs Gothard, from Winchester, explained her concerns and Hatef was arrested.
Their investigation 'opened a can of worms' that led to him being charged with 32 offences relating to indecent images of children.
Mrs Gothard has now received an accolade from police after playing an 'instrumental part in uncovering a sex offender'.
She was congratulated at a ceremony by Chief Superintendent Mark Chatterton, of Hampshire Constabulary.
Police are still following up other enquiries as a result of Mrs Gothard’s 'tenacity and vigilance'.
Detective Constable Jacqueline Doran, who investigated the case, said: 'Mrs Gothard’s actions opened a huge can of worms.
'As we probed the man’s background we uncovered numerous offences against children.
'After a lengthy and complex investigation Mohamad Hatef was charged with 32 separate offences relating to indecent images of children.
'That included taking and distributing photographs of children.
'Without Mrs Gothard’s action I dread to think what this man may be doing today.
'As it is, he is behind bars and authorities can keep tabs on him for the rest of his life.'
'Mrs Gothard's actions opened a huge can of worms'
She added: 'Mrs Gothard’s actions were remarkable and the local community should be very grateful that she acted in such a courageous way.'
Hatef was jailed for two years and placed on the sex offenders register for life, at Winchester Crown Court.
He will also be subject to a sex offender prevention order.
The judge said as he jailed Hatef: 'I want to congratulate Mrs Gothard, who I find instrumental in exposing your dreadful secrets.
'It seems she had very little support of those around her at the time of your detention.
'I hope no such action will happen again.
'She was entirely motivated to protect those around her and she should be publicly recognised for her public spirited action.
'I award her £500 as a reward.'
A spokesman for Sainsbury's admitted security staff refused to interject and added: 'At the time staff were dealing with two members of the public who were essentially having an altercation.
'She was highly distressed at the time and asked security to confiscate the man's phone.
Obviously, this is not something we could do, because we cannot just take customers' property, but we called police instead.'
In a statement, the spokesman added: 'We have conducted a thorough review of the incident.
'Colleagues in the store called the police, detained the individual until their arrival, and he was then taken by the police for questioning.
'At all points our colleagues acted in accordance with the information available at the time. With the benefit of hindsight and knowing the full circumstances clearly they would have acted differently.
'Mrs Gothard played a pivotal role in the detention and arrest of this individual and Sainsbury’s is matching the Bravery award made by the court by making a donation to a local charity of her choice.'