A FORMER Paratrooper and personal trainer sprinted 100metres to take down a knife-wielding thug who robbed a woman in her own home.

Fearless Sam Lake, 25, of Cossington Road, Westcliff, bundled the 6ft “scum bag” to the floor and held him down until police arrived after he broke into a home Esplanade Gardens, Chalkwell.

Sam said: “I just saw two women screaming hysterically and pointing at a guy.

“He was a fair distance away, but I’m lucky with the career I’ve had, and the fitness I have. I knew I would catch him."

The fitness instructor, who served as a sharp shooter with the Parachute Regiment, had just finished a training session with a client on Chalkwell Beach at about 3pm on Monday when he saw the two middle-aged women screaming, and the robber running up Chalkwell Avenue.

Without a second thought he gave chase.

As he passed the distraught women they warned the man had robbed them at knife-point, but this only spurred Sam on.

He added: “When I heard he had a knife it didn’t bother me. I’ve dealt with situations like that in Afghanistan before.”

He caught the robber, who dropped an iPad while fleeing, at the junction with Kings Road.

The burly man, who smelled of alcohol, struggled, but super-fit Sam held him firm until police arrived, handcuffed the thug and took him away.