In his suit and working as a banker by day, this man looks an unlikely superhero – but by night, he becomes ‘The Statesmen’ and fights crime on Britain’s streets.
Dressed in a Union Flag T-shirt and with a black Zorro-style mask covering his eyes, he claims even his girlfriend is in the dark about his nocturnal activities – which is hard to believe, especially given his distinctive facial hair.
He tells her he is out playing poker on the four nights a week when he is trying to keep an eye on the underbelly of Birmingham.
The Briton is the latest to follow in the footsteps of the hit film Kick Ass, in which a teenage geek dresses as a superhero but ends up way over his head.
Last month, it emerged Phoenix Jones from the U.S. had been dubbed the real-life Kick Ass after appointing himself as masked guardian of a Seattle suburb.
His British counterpart’s outfit compares somewhat unfavourably with the American’s but he claims to have foiled a drug dealer and prevented burglaries.
The former soldier in the Territorial Army, who wears a black mask, utility belt, Union Flag top, fingerless gloves, combat trousers and military boots, uses his skills as a trained pugilist.
And he shirks cutting-edge gadgets for a first aid kit, a torch to startle burglars and a notepad for writing down important information. A cheap mobile phone in case he needs to call support of the police completes his arsenal.
He said: ‘I work for a large bank dealing with savings and investments. All day I look at numbers and percentages and work out how to make people richer.
‘It’s not a popular occupation but I like to think I make up for this by going out at night and trying to do something to help everybody.’
His alter-ego sees him breaking up fights, stopping would-be burglars and feeding homeless people and he claims he sometimes teams up with three other superheroes to work together.
To keep attention off them, they hide their costumes under dark overcoats and burst out when their help is required.
He claims they helped Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to capture a drug dealer.
‘We were patrolling London together at 3am one night and heard a commotion. We saw a huge guy running across Trafalgar Square away from two PCSOs.
‘They were shouting at him but he wasn’t going to stop so we threw off our overcoats and chased him. We caught up with him and pinned him down until the officers arrived.
‘They told us he had jumped bail and they had seen him throwing away packets of drugs as he ran from them.
‘That was the first time what I do really felt justified. The police wagon turned up and took him away and it felt good. The PCSOs thought it was great. They loved it.’
Patrolling several times a week means The Statesman has to work hard to keep his secret safe from loved ones.
With my girlfriend, it helps that I have a lot of hobbies. I say I’m playing late-night poker matches with friends or watching a pay-per-view sports,’ he said.
When things turn violent on patrol, The Statesman is well prepared. ‘I’ve been boxing since I was 11 and I’m still training,’ he said. ‘It helps me to judge things and be reasonable.’
His first ‘incident’ on patrol came in April 2010 when he found two men trying to break into a builder’s merchants late at night.
He said: ‘It’s why I always carry a torch with me. People doing bad things don’t want to be seen and if you shine a good torch right at them and shout in a strong voice, it’s enough to stop them. As soon as I did it these two men simply ran away.’
He begins his Nightwatch at 7pm, after eating a good meal to keep him going. ‘I look at a map and just say “I want to make that area safe tonight”,’ he said.
‘While I am over that area, nothing bad is going to happen. You can’t change the entire city, but you can make one small part of it better each night. Even if it’s just for one or two people, then that’s a win.’
Explaining his superhero name, he said: ‘A Statesman is an ambassador, a diplomat and somebody who delivers a message. Something that’s meaningful and positive, and that’s something I feel that represents what I do.
‘I want to do something that’s positive for the country. I hope some people will look at me and want to do it themselves. If it’s just one person then it’s a success. As long as I’m achieving anything, I will keep doing this.’
West Midlands Police refused to comment.