A brave six-year-old boy defended his mum against a gang of seven armed robbers as they smashed their way into the family’s home.
Muhammed Ali, who is only 4ft tall, leapt to the defence of mum Rifat Akram as masked men demanded gold and cash at gunpoint while the family waited for dad, Muhammed Siaz, to come home from work.
The raiders even grabbed hold of Muhammed Ali’s one-year-old brother, Adan Shahyan, during the terrifying ordeal in Balsall Heath at 8.30pm on October 2 – shaking the baby and yelling: “Tell us where the gold is!”
Muhammed Ali kept his cool during the robbery, calmly asking the robbers as they rifled through drawers and tried to pull out Rifat’s earrings, “Please keep away from my mummy. Don’t you touch her!”
The youngster was the first to spot the raiders when he rushed to the door after hearing a noise and thinking his dad had come home.
He called out to Rifat: “Spiderman has broken into our house.”
At the time Rifat, Muhammed Ali, Adan Shahyan, were sitting in an upstairs bedroom along with four-year-old brother Muhammed Abbas.
“When Muhammed Ali heard a noise at the door he ran out to see if it was his dad,” Rifat told the Birmingham Mail.
“A few seconds later he came back and said Spiderman had broken into the house – then these men wearing black face masks appeared.
“They had a knife and a gun. They came straight away into my bedroom and said ‘Don’t move, hands up’.
“My children started crying at what was happening.
“They took everything out of the wardrobe and were searching and searching.
“They kept yelling ‘Don’t move, tell us where the gold is, tell us where the money is. Tell us right now!’
“I was so scared. I thought nobody could save us. I was trying to think how I could call for help. I didn’t have any gold in the house and I only had £5 in my pocket. I thought they were going to kill me and I just felt lifeless.
“Then one of the men took my little baby and shook him very hard and shouted ‘Tell me where the gold is!’ At that point I thought I was going to faint.”
But as Rifat struggled to come to terms with what was happening, little Muhammed Ali sprung into action.
“He told the men ‘Please keep away from my mummy. Don’t you touch her!’” said Rifat.
“He came over and hugged me and tried to support me, tried to protect me.
“When they tried to take off my gold earrings he said ‘No! Don’t touch her, I’ll do it.’
“He kept saying ‘Nothing’s going to happen, I’m with you mummy. Just give them anything we have. Give it to him and ask him to go away from here’.
“He was so brave. I thought I couldn’t do anything, but he tried to motivate me and told me that I could. He saved the family that day.”
Muhammed Ali was awarded an Alan Henning Youth Award at Balsall Heath Forum’s fourth annual ceremony recognising neighbourhood champions.
West Midlands Police Superintendent Baz Javid, who presented the award, described Muhammed as an inspiration.
“It was so amazing to see that this small boy has shown such bravery in trying to protect his mother, and I was honoured to have been able to hand out the Alan Henning award to him,” he said.
Rifat has said that despite his bravery at the time, Muhammed Ali is only just recovering from the trauma.
“After the incident he lost his confidence and he finds it hard to sleep at night. He has nightmares about people coming and killing me and his little brother.
“It’s just settling down now, and we’ve had counselling to help.
“We try and motivate him by telling him that he saved us. He was such a support.”
During the terrifying raid the robbers stole only a mobile phone.
Police have said no one has been charged in connection with the incident.