Filmmaker Gia Milinovich, Brian Cox’s wife, punched burglar in the face: ‘I threw everything into it like a heavyweight’

Gia Milinovich put her self-defence skills to good use after an intruder broke into her family home

Filmmaker and television presenter Gia Milinovich – who is married to science Professor Brian Cox – punched a burglar in the face after he broke into her London home.

In a blog for her website, entitled I Punch First, Milinovich, 44, recalled the incident which took place on 22 May. Her husband was away for the evening, when she was awoken by a sound in her son’s bedroom.

Initially, she believed the noise to have been her older son coming home late, so walked straight into the room to find a stranger standing there. She decided swiftly to put her self-defence training to good use and “punched first”.

“The one thing I know about self-defence (rather than boxing) is that you need to fight for your life,” she wrote.

“There’s no ‘being nice’. There’s no ‘maybe I can talk my way out of this’. There’s no ‘let’s just see what happens here’. You must approach it with a ‘kill or be killed’ attitude.

“I had no idea if that man was armed, if he would try and attack me, if he would try and rape me, if he would try and kill me. Life or death stuff. I wasn’t going to wait to find out.”

Her ensuing actions were instinctive.

“I immediately ran into the room, shouting (and not a ‘girly’ scream, but a deep, loud, roaring, dominant boom), got in close and right-hooked him to the face,” she continued.

“It wasn’t a technically brilliant punch (my second and third knuckles were bruised). I didn’t punch to score points from judges. I didn’t punch and snap back ready to punch again to continue the fight until the end of the round. I threw everything into it like a heavyweight does- a big, full-bodied, ‘you’re going fucking down! My fist shoulder and whole body are going straight through your fucking head’ whallop.”

The intruder made a “well, that really wasn’t very nice at all sound”, pushed past Milinovic and ran downstairs as she chased him outside.

She then dialled 999 and police caught the burglar on CCTV. He was charged, pleaded guilty and on Friday 27 June, and was sentenced to eight months in prison.

She says she’d “probably” do the same thing again if confronted with the same situation, although doesn’t recommend others doing so without training as “your punch isn’t going to have much of an effect which would open you up to being attacked”.

“The police officer who was dealing with my case said that he had never had another case where someone punched a burglar,” she said.

“All of the officers I spoke to asked ‘Are you the one who punched him?… Well done!’ They said they wished more people were like me and had some kind of self-defence training in order to know how to handle themselves in these unusual situations.”

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York