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Heroic Lee in ‘leap of faith’

A SOLIHULL soldier jumped from a moving vehicle to tackle a suspected suicide bomber in war-torn Afghanistan.

A SOLIHULL soldier jumped from a moving vehicle to tackle a suspected suicide bomber in war-torn Afghanistan.

Private Lee Stephens was unarmed when he made the leap of faith, pulling the Taliban chief from the back of a motorbike.

Armoured vehicles had pursued the biker over a mile of desert and just intercepted him before he reached the road.

It turned out the captive was a bomb-making expert and the most senior commander captured so far by regular British force.

Lee, aged 30, has been heaped with praise - he had no way of knowing if the motorcyclist was wearing an explosive vest.

But the private gunner, from B Company, 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, was matter-of-fact about his brave act, earlier this month.

“I jumped out off the wagon and I grabbed the geezer,” said the serviceman.

“It was mark one left, mark two right fists. That was it. No weapons, just my hands.”

Lieutenant Martyn Fulford commanded one of the two vehicles which chased the motorcyclist down.

“If he reached the tarmac he would have been able to outpace us and escape. We just pipped him.

“I had my rifle out of the turret screaming at him. Pte Stephens ripped his headset off and leapt down.”

It’s the latest case of a borough soldier who’s made the headlines for an act of extraordinary courage.

Last week we reported on Royal Marine Ryan Shelley, from Shirley, who had been awarded the George Medal.

 

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Cathrina Hulse
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Annette Belcher
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